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Full text of "The topaz story book : stories and legends of autumn, Hallowe'en, and Thanksgiving"

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THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 



THE 

TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Stories and Legends of 

Autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving 



COMPILED BY 



ADA M. SKINNER 



AND 



ELEANOR L. SKINNER 

Editors of "The Emerald Story Book" "Merry Tales' 
"Nursery Tales from Many Lands' 1 



FRONTISPIECE BY 

MAXFIELD PARRISH 



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NEW YORK 

DUFFIELD & COMPANY 

1928 



THE RK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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Copyright, 1917, by 

DUFFIELD & Co. 
Fifth Edition, 1928 



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INTRODUCTION 

Nature stories, legends, and poems appeal 
to the young reader's interest in various ways. 
Some of them suggest or reveal certain facts 
which stimulate a spirit of investigation and 
attract the child's attention to the beauty and 
mystery of the world. Others serve an ex- 
cellent purpose by quickening his sense of 
humour. 

Seedtime and harvest have always been sea- 
sons of absorbing interest and have furnished 
the story- teller with rieh : themes. The selec- 
tions in "The Emerald Stoiy Book" empha- 
size the hope and premise of the spring; the 
stories, legends, and poems in this volume, 
"The Topaz 'Story Book," express the joy and 
blessing which attend the harvest-time when 
the fields are rich in golden grain and the or- 
chard boughs bend low with mellow fruit 



INTRODUCTION 

"The year's work is done. She walks in gor- 
geous apparel, looking upon her long labour 
and her serene eye saith, 'It is good.' 

The editors' thanks are due to the follow- 
ing authors and publishers for the use of valu- 
able material in this book: 

To Dr. Carl S. Patton of the First Congre- 
gational Church, Columbus, Ohio, for per- 
mission to include his story, "The Pretending 
Woodchuck"; to Frances Jenkins Olcott for 
"The Green Corn Dance," retold from "The 
Journal of American Folk-Lore," published 
by Houghton, Mifflin Company; to Ernest 
Thompson Seton and the Century Company 
for "How the Chestnut Burrs Became"; to 
Dr. J. Dynelly Prince for permission to retell 
the legend of "Nipon" from "Kuloskap the 
Master"; to Thcmas Nelson and Sons for 
"Weeds," by Carl Ewald ; to William Herbert 
Carruth for the selection from "Each In His 
Own Tongue"; to -Josephine K. Dodge for 
two poems by Mary Mapes Dodge; to A. 
Flanagan Company for "Golden-rod and 
Purple Aster," from "Nature Myths and 
Stories," by Flora J. Cooke; to J. B. Lippin- 



INTRODUCTION 

cott Company for "The Willow and the Bam- 
boo," from "Myths and Legends of the Flow- 
ers and Trees," by Chas. M. Skinner; to 
Bobbs, Merrill Company for the selection 
by James Whitcomb Riley; to Lothrop, 
Lee, and Shepard Company for "The Pump- 
kin Giant," from "The Pot of Gold," by 
Mary Wilkins Freeman; to Raymond Mac- 
donald Alden for "Lost: The Summer"; 
to the Youth's Companion for "A Turkey 
for the Stuffing," by Katherine Grace Hul- 
bert, and "The News," by Persis Gardi- 
ner; to John S. P. Alcott for "Queen Aster," 
by Louisa M. Alcott; to G. P. Putnam's Sons 
for two poems from "Red Apples and Silver 
Bells," by Hamish Henry; to Francis Cur- 
tis and St. Nicholas for "The Debut of 
Daniel Webster," by Isabel Gordon Curtis; 
to Emma F. Bush and Mothers' Magazine 
for "The Little Pumpkin"; to Phila Butler 
Bowman and Mothers' Magazine for "The 
Queer Little Baker Man"; to the Inde- 
pendent for "The Crown of the Year," by 
Celia Thaxter; to Ginn and Company for 
"Winter's Herald," from Andrew's "The 



INTRODUCTION 

Story of My Four Friends" ; to Frederick A. 
Stokes Company for "Lady White and Lady 
Yellow," from "Myths and Legends of Ja- 
pan"; to the State Museum, Albany, New 
York, for permission to reprint the legend 
"O-na-tah, Spirit of the Corn," published in 
the Museum Bulletin; to Houghton, Mifflin 
Company for "The Sickle Moon," by Abbie 
Farwell Brown; "Autumn Among the Birds" 
and "Autumn Fashions" by Edith M. Thomas, 
"The Nutcrackers of Nutcracker Lodge" by 
Harriet Beecher Stowe, and "The Three Gol- 
den Apples" by Nathaniel Hawthorne; and 
to Duffield and Company for "The Story of 
the Opal" by Ann de Morgan. 



CONTENTS 

INTRODUCTION 

AUTUMN STORIES AND LEGENDS 

PAGE 

Each in His Own Tongue (selection) 

William Herbert Carruth 2 

Nipon and the King of the Northland (Algonquin Leg- 
end) Retold from Leland and Prince 

Eleanor L. Skinner 3 
Prince Autumn (Translated from the Danish by Alex- 

andre Teixeira de Mattos) Carl Ewald 12 

The Scarf of the Lady (adapted) (Translated from the 

French by Hermine de Nagy) 24 

The Sickle Moon (Tyrolean harvest legend) 

Abbie Farwell Brown 30 

Winter's Herald Jane Andrews 35 

Jack Frost (poem) 42 

The Pumpkin Giant Mary Wilkins Freeman 44 

Lady White and Lady Yellow (Japanese Legend) 

Frederick Hadland Davis 62 

The Shet-up Posy Ann Trumbull Slosson 66 

The Gay Little King Mary Stewart 73 

The Story of the Opal Ann de Morgan 83 

Selection Celia Thaxter 97 

Lost: The Summer (poem) 

Raymond Macdonald Alden 98 

By the Wayside (poem) William Cullen Bryant 99 

The King's Candles (German legend) 

Eleanor L. Skinner 100 

A Legend of the Golden-Rod Frances Weld Danielson 106 

Golden-Rod (poem) Anna E. Skinner 109 

The Little Weed. no 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Golden-Rod and Purple Aster (adapted) 

Flora J. Cooke 112 

Wild Asters (poem) 115 

Silver-rod Edith M. Thomas 116 

Pimpernel, the Shepherd's Clock (poem) 118 

A Legend of the Gentian (Hungarian) ..Ada M. Skinner 119 

Queen Aster Louisa M. Alcott 121 

The Weeds Carl Ewald 134 

Autumn Fires (poem) Robert Louis Stevenson 144 

< 

AMONG THE TREES 

To An Autumn Leaf (poem) 146 

Why the Autumn Leaves Are Red (Indian legend) 

Retold and adapted by Eleanor Newcomb Partridge 147 

The Anxious Leaf Henry Ward Beecher 154 

How the Chestnut Burrs Became 

Ernest Thompson-Seton 156 

The Merry Wind (poem) Mary Mapes Dodge 158 

Autumn Among the Birds Edith M. Thomas 159 

The Kind Old Oak Selected 163 

The Tree (poem) Bjdrnstjerne Bjornson 165 

Coming and Going Henry Ward Beecher 166 

A Legend of the Willow Tree (Japanese) 170 

Autumn Fashions (poem) Edith M. Thomas 173 

Pomona's Best Gift (Old English Song) 175 

Pomona (Greek myth retold from Ovid) 

Ada M. Skinner 176 

In the Orchard (poem) George Weatherby 180 

Johnny Appleseed Josephine Scribner Gates 181 

Red Apple (poem) Hamish Hendry 185 

The Three Golden Apples Nathaniel Hawthorne 186 

October: Orchard of the Year Selected 211 

November 212 

WOODLAND ANIMALS 

The Pretending Woodchuck Dr. Carl S. Patton 215 

Mrs. Bunny's Dinner Party Anna E. Skinner 228 

The Nutcrackers of Nutcracker Lodge (adapted) 

Harriet Beecher Stowe 234 

Bushy's Bravery Ada M. Skinner 243 

Nut Gatherers (poem) Hamish Hendry 248 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

HARVEST FIELDS 

When the Frost is' on the Pumpkin 

James Whitcomb Riley 250 
Origin of Indian Corn (Indian legend) 

Eleanor L. Skinner 251 

Song of Hiawatha Henry W. Longfellow 254 

O-na-tah, the Spirit of the Corn Fields 

Harriet Converse 255 

Mondamin (poem) Henry W. Longfellow 258 

The Discontented Pumpkin Ada M. Skinner 259 

Bob White (poem ) George Cooper 263 

The Little Pumpkin Emma Florence Bush 265 

Autumn (poem) Edmund Spenser 270 

CHEERFUL CHIRPERS 

The News (poem) Persis Gardiner 272 

How There Came To Be a Katy-did Patten Beard 273 

Old Dame Cricket (poem) 276 

Miss Katy-did and Miss Cricket ( adapted ) 

Harriet Beecher Stowe 277 

The Cricket (poem) William Cowper 284 

ALL HALLOWE'EN 

Shadow March (poem) Robert Louis Stevenson 286 

Twinkling Feet's Hallowe'en (adapted from a Cornwall 

legend) Eleanor L. Skinner 287 

Jack-o'-Lantern (poem) 298 

The Elfin Knight (old ballad retold) 

Eleanor L. Skinner 299 
The Courteous Prince (Scotch legend) 

Eleanor L. Skinner 307 

Jack-o'-Lantern Song 314 

A HARVEST OF THANKSGIVING STORIES 

Selection Henry Van Dyke 318 

The Queer Little Baker Man Phila Butler Bowman 319 

A Turkey for the Stuffing Katherine Grace Hulbert 327 

Pumpkin Pie (poem) Mary Mapes Dodge 333 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Mrs. November's Party Agnes Carr 335 

The Debut of Dan'l Webster Isabel Gordon Curtis 345 

The Green Corn Dance Frances Jenkins Olcott 365 

Thanksgiving (poem) Amelie E. Barr 373 

The Two Alms, or The Thanksgiving Day Gift (Trans- 
lated and adapted from the French) 

Eleanor L. Skinner 375 

Thanksgiving Psalm Bible 380 

The Crown of the Year (poem) Celia Thaxter 381 



AUTUMN STORIES AND LEGENDS 



EACH IN HIS OWN TONGUE 

A haze on the far horizon, 

The infinite, tender sky, 
The rich, ripe tint of the cornfields, 

And the wild geese sailing high; 
And, all over upland and lowland 

The charm of the golden- rod, 

Some of us call it Autumn, 

And others call it God. 

WILLIAM HERBERT CARRUTH. 



NIPON AND THE KING OF THE 
NORTHLAND 

(ALGONQUIN LEGEND) 

THE Summer Queen whom the Indians called 
Nipon lived in the land of sunshine where 
the life-giving beams of the mighty Sun shone 
all the year round on the blossoming meadows 
and green forests. The maiden's wigwam 
faced the sunrise. It was covered with a vine 
which hung thick with bell-shaped blossoms. 

The fair queen's trailing green robe was 
woven from delicate fern leaves and embroid- 
ered with richly coloured blossoms. She wore 
a coronet of flowers and her long dusky braids 
were entwined with sprays of fragrant honey- 
suckle. Her moccasins were fashioned from 
water-lily leaves. 

Nipon was very busy in her paradise of 
flowers. Every day she wandered through the 
green forests where she spoke words of en- 



4 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

couragement and praise to the great trees, or 
she glided over the meadows and helped the 
flower buds to unfold into perfect blossoms. 

Sometimes the maiden's grandmother, 
whose name was K'me-wan, the Rain, came 
from afar to visit the land of Sunshine. The 
Summer Queen always welcomed her and 
listened carefully to the words of warning 
which K'me-wan solemnly gave before leav- 
ing. 

"Nipon, my child, heed what I say. In 
thy wanderings never go to the Northland 
where dwells Poon, the Winter King. He is 
thy deadliest foe and is waiting to destroy 
thee. This grim old Winter King hates the 
fair beauty of the Summer Queen. He will 
cause thy green garments to wither and fade 
and thy bright hair to turn white like his own 
frost. All thy youth and strength he will 
change to age and weakness." 

The Summer Maiden promised to heed her 
grandmother's warning, and for a long time 
she did not look in the direction of the North- 
land. But one day when she sat in front of 
her sun-bathed wigwam a strange longing 



NIPON AND THE KING 5 

crept into her heart a longing to look at the 
frozen Northland where Poon the Winter 
King reigned. Slowly she turned her eyes in 
the forbidden direction and there she saw a 
wonderful vision. The far-away Northland 
was flooded with sunshine. She could see the 
broad, shining lakes, the white mountain peaks 
touched with rosy mists, and the winding riv- 
ers gleaming with light. 

"It is the most beautiful land I have ever 
seen," said Nipon. 

She rose slowly and stood for some time 
looking at the enchanting beauty of the scene 
before her. Then she said, "My heart is 
filled with a strange longing. I shall go to 
visit the Northland, the Land of Poon, King of 
Winter." 

"My daughter, remember K'me-wan's 
warning," whispered a voice and Nipon knew 
that her grandmother was speaking. "Go not 
to the Northland where death awaits thee. 
Abide in the land of Sunshine." 

"I can not choose," said Nipon. "I must 
go to the Northland." 

"Heed my warning! Heed my warning!" 



6 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

whispered the faint voice of K'me-wan, the 
Rain. 

"I can not choose," repeated the Summer 
Queen. "I must go to the Northland." 

In her delicate robe of leaves and her coro- 
net of flowers Nipon left the Land of Sunshine 
and began her long journey northward. For 
many moons she traveled keeping her eyes 
fixed on the dazzling beauty of the frost king's 
land. 

One day she noticed that the shining moun- 
tains, lakes, and rivers in the land of Poon 
moved onward before her. She stopped for 
a moment to consider the marvel and again a 
faint voice whispered, "Turn back, my child! 
Destruction awaits thee in the land of King 
Winter. Heed the warning of K'me-wan." 

But the willful Summer Queen closed her 
ears to the pleading voice and proceeded on 
her journey. The beautiful vision no longer 
seemed to move away from her. Surely be- 
fore long she would win her heart's desire, she 
would reach the beautiful land of Poon. 

Suddenly fear seized the Summer Queen, 
r for she felt that the sunshine was gradually 



NIPON AND THE KING 7 

fading away. A chill wind from the distant 
mountain rent her frail garments and with 
sinking heart she saw the leaves of her robe 
were turning yellow, the blossoms were fad- 
ing and dying. A cruel wind blew and tore 
to pieces her coronet of flowers. Then she 
noticed that her dusky braids were turning 
white as the frost. 

"K'me-wan's warning!" she cried. "How I 
wish I had heeded K'me-wan's warning! The 
Frost King is cruel. He will destroy me! O 
K'me-wan, help me! Save me from destruc- 
tion!" 

Soon after Nipon left for the Northland 
her grandmother knew what had happened, 
for from her Skyland she saw that no smoke 
rose from the Summer Queen's wigwam. 
K'me-wan hastened to the land of Sunshine. 
There she saw that the blossoms on the 
queen's wigwam were beginning to wither, the 
ground was strewn with fallen petals, and the 
leaves of the vine had lost their shining green 
colour. 

"A grey mist covers the face of the sun and 
a change is gradually creeping over this beau- 



8 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

tiful land," cried K'me-wan. "I'll send my 
gentlest showers to refresh the woods and 
meadows." 

But the Rain-rnother failed to bring back 
the colour to the Summer Queen's island. 

"The trees and flowers need warmth as well 
as moisture," sighed K'me-wan. "The leaves 
of the forest are beginning to turn orange, 
crimson, and brown. Every day there are 
fewer flowers in the meadows and along the 
banks of the brook. A great change is creep- 
ing over the land of Sunshine." 

And as she sat in Nipon's wigwam, grieving, 
she heard the Summer Queen's cry of agony. 
She heard Nipon call out, "O K'me-wan! 
Save me from destruction." 

"I'll send my bravest warriors to do battle 
with Poon," declared K'me-wan, standing and 
looking toward the Northland. "He shall 
match his strength with mine!" 

Quickly she called together her strong war- 
riors, South-wind, West-wind, and Warm- 
breeze. 

"Go to the Northland, my warriors," she 
commanded. "Use all your power to rescue 



NIPON AND THE KING 9 

Nipon from Poon, the Winter King. Fly to 
the Northland !" 

K'me-wan's wind warriors fled like light- 
ning to the land'of Poon. But the crafty Win- 
ter King was not taken by surprise. The 
mighty North-wind, the biting East-wind, and 
the Frost-spirit, his strong chieftains, he held 
in readiness to do battle for possession of the 
Summer Queen. And when K'me-wan's war- 
riors drew near the Northland, Poon gave his 
command. 

"Fly to meet our foes, my warriors! They 
come from the land of Sunshine! Vanquish 
them!" 

And as he spoke his chieftains saw that 
Poon's stalwart figure was growing gaunt and 
thin, and great drops of sweat were dropping 
from his brow. 

At Winter King's command his giants flew 
to match their strength with K'me-wan's war- 
riors. 

But the Snowflakes and Hailstones led by 
the Frost-spirit weakened and fell before 
Warm-breeze and his followers, the Rain- 
drops. The cold wind warriors of the North 



io THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

shook and roared as they matched strength 
with the mightier giants from the land of 
Sunshine. Then, as K'me-wan's warriors 
pressed nearer and nearer to the Northland, 
Poon the Winter King weakened and cried out 
in agony, "Set Nipon free or I shall perish. 
My warriors are vanquished by the chieftains 
of the land of Sunshine! Free the Summer 
Queen and end this strife!" 

At this command from Poon, his giant war- 
riors grew silent and fled back to the North- 
land, leaving K'me-wan's chieftains in pos- 
session of Nipon. Gently they led the weary 
Summer Queen back toward her own land. 
They travelled for many moons before the 
beams of the great sun were warm enough to 
restore her beauty. 

Only once on her journey back to her own 
land did Nipon stop. It was when she reached 
a place enveloped in grey mists and dark 
clouds where the wild lightning leaped and 
flashed. The wind blew and the showers fell 
continually in this land of K'me-wan. 
Through the clouds and rain Nipon traveled 
until she reached the wigwam of the ancient 
Rain-mother. 



NIPON AND THE KING n 

"Forgive me, K'me-wan," said the Summer 
Queen humbly. 

"My child, thou hast well nigh killed me," 
moaned K'me-wan faintly. "Thy disobedi- 
ence has brought great suffering in my cher- 
ished island. My giant warriors conquered 
or Poon with his cruel ice scepter would have 
reigned king over all. Never again can I ven- 
ture on such a struggle." 

"Never again shall I disobey thee," de- 
clared Nipon, the Summer Queen. 

"Hasten back to the land of Sunshine," said 
K'me-wan, rising. "There thou art sadly 
needed, for the leaves have changed their color 
and the blossoms are almost gone. Hasten 
back and give them new life, my daughter." 

Then Nipon bade farewell to the Rain- 
mother and departed for the land of Sunshine. 
As she drew near her heart was filled with a 
wonderful joy and peace. 

"Welcome, Nipon," laughed the warm sun- 
beams. 

"Welcome, Nipon," sang the gentle breezes. 

"Welcome, our life-giving Summer Queen," 
nodded the forest trees. 



PRINCE AUTUMN 

CARL EWALD 

ON the top of the hills in the West stood the 
Prince of Autumn and surveyed the land with 
his serious eyes. 

His hair and beard were dashed with gray 
and there were wrinkles on his forehead. But 
he was good to look at, still and straight and 
strong. His splendid cloak gleamed red and 
green and brown and yellow and flapped in 
the wind. In his hand he held a horn. 

He smiled sadly and stood awhile and lis- 
tened to the fighting and the singing and the 
cries. Then he raised his head, put the horn 
to his mouth and blew a lusty flourish: 

Summer goes his all-prospering way, 

Autumn's horn is calling. 
Heather dresses the brown hill-clay, 

Winds whip crackling across the bay, 
Leaves in the grove keep falling. 



Copyright, 1913, by Dodd, Mead & Company. 

12 



PRINCE AUTUMN 13 

All the trees of the forest shook from root 
to top, themselves not knowing why. All the 
birds fell silent together. The stag in the 
glade raised his antlers in surprise and lis- 
tened. The poppy's scarlet petals flew before 
the wind. 

But high on the mountains and on the bare 
hills and low down in the bog, the heather 
burst forth and blazed purple and glorious in 
the sun. And the bees flew from the faded 
flowers of the meadow and hid themselves in 
the heather-fields. 

But Autumn put his horn to his mouth again 
and blew: 

Autumn lords it with banners bright 

Of garish leaves held o'er him, 
Quelling Summer's eternal fight, 
Heralding Winter, wild and white, 

While the blithe little birds flee before him. 

The Prince of Summer stopped where he 
stood in the valley and raised his eyes to the 
hills in the West. And the Prince of Autumn 
took the horn from his mouth and bowed low 
before him. 



i 4 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Welcome!" said Summer. 

He took a step towards him and no more, 
as befits one who is the greater. But the 
Prince of Autumn came down over the hills 
and again bowed low. 

They walked through the valley hand in 
hand. And so radiant was Summer that, 
wherever they passed, none was aware of Au- 
tumn's presence. The notes of his horn died 
aw r ay in the air; and one and all recovered 
from the shudder that had passed over them. 
The trees and birds and flowers came to them- 
selves again and whispered and sang and 
fought. The river flowed, the rushes mur- 
mured, the bees continued their summer orgy 
in the heather. 

But, wherever the princes stopped on their 
progress through the valley, it came about that 
the foliage turned yellow on the side where 
Autumn was. A little leaf fell from its stalk 
and fluttered away and dropped at his feet. 
The nightingale ceased singing, though it was 
eventide; the cuckoo was silent and flapped 
restlessly through the woods; the stork 
stretched himself in his nest and looked to- 



PRINCE AUTUMN 15 

ward the South. But the princes took no heed. 

"Welcome," said Summer again. "Do you 
remember your promise?" 

"I remember," answered Autumn. 

Then the Prince of Summer stopped and 
looked out over the kingdom where the noise 
was gradually subsiding. 

"Do you hear them?" he asked. "Now do 
you take them into your gentle keeping." 

"I shall bring your produce home," said 
Autumn. "I shall watch carefully over them 
that dream, I shall cover up lovingly them 
that are to sleep in the mould. I will warn 
them thrice of Winter's coming." 

"It is well," said Summer. 

They walked in silence for a time, while 
night came forth. 

"The honeysuckle's petals fell when you 
blew your horn," said Summer. "Some of my 
children will die at the moment when I leave 
the valley. But the nightingale and the 
cuckoo and the stork I shall take with me." 

Again the two princes walked in silence. It 
was quite still, only the owls hooted in the old 
oak. 



16 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"You must send my birds after me," said 
Summer. 

"I shall not forget," replied Autumn. 

Then the Prince of Summer raised his hand 
in farewell and bade Autumn take possession 
of the kingdom. 

"I shall go tonight," he said. "And none 
will know save you. My splendour will linger 
in the valley for a while. And by-the-by, 
when I am far away and my reign is forgot- 
ten, the memory of me will revive once more 
with the sun and the pleasant days." 

Then he strode away in the night. But 
from the high tree-top came the stork on his 
long wings; and the cuckoo fluttered out of 
the tall woods ; and the nightingale flew from 
the thicket with her full-grown young. 

The air was filled with the soft murmurings 
of wings. 

Autumn's dominion had indeed begun on 
the night when Summer went away, with a 
yellow leaf here and a brown leaf there, but 
none had noticed it. Now it went at a quicker 
pace; and as time wore on, there came even 
more colours and greater splendour. 



PRINCE AUTUMN 17 

The lime trees turned bright yellow and the 
beech bronze, but the elder-tree even blacker 
than it had been. The bell-flower rang with 
white bells, where it used to ring with blue, 
and the chestnut tree blessed all the world with 
its five yellow fingers. The mountain ash shed 
its leaves that all might admire its pretty ber- 
ries; the wild rose nodded with a hundred 
hips; the Virginia creeper broke over the 
hedge in blazing flames. 

Then Autumn put his horn to his mouth 
and blew : 

The loveliest things of Autumn's pack 

In his motley coffers lay; 
Red mountain-berries 
Hips sweet as cherries, 
Sloes blue and black 

He hung upon every spray. 

And blackbird and thrush chattered blithely 
in the copsewood, which gleamed with ber- 
ries, and a thousand sparrows kept them com- 
pany. The wind ran from one to the other and 
puffed and panted to add to the fun. High up 
in the sky, the sun looked gently down upon it 
all. 



1 8 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

And the Prince of Autumn nodded content- 
edly and let his motley cloak flap in the wind. 

"I am the least important of the four sea- 
sons and am scarcely lord in my own land," he 
said. "I serve two jealous masters and have 
to please them both. But my power extends 
so far that I can give you a few glad days." 

Then he put his horn to his mouth and blew : 



To the valley revellers hie! 

They are clad in autumnal fancy dresses, 
They are weary of green and faded tresses, 

Summer has vanished, Winter is nigh 

Hey fol de rol day for Autumn! 



But, the night after this happened, there was 
tremendous disturbance up on the mountain 
peaks, where the eternal snows had lain both 
in Spring's time and Summer's. It sounded 
like a storm approaching. The trees grew 
frightened, the crows were silent, the wind 
held its breath. Prince Autumn bent forward 
and listened: 

"Is that the worst you can do?" shouted a 
hoarse voice through the darkness. 



PRINCE AUTUMN 19 

Autumn raised his head and looked straight 
into Winter's great, cold eyes! 

"Have you forgotten the bargain?" asked 
Winter. 

"No," replied Autumn. "I have not for- 
gotten it." 

"Have a care," shouted Winter. 

The whole night through, it rumbled and 
tumbled in the mountains. It turned so bit- 
terly cold that the starling thought seriously 
of packing up and even the red creeper turned 
pale. 

The distant peaks glittered with new snow. 

And the Prince of Autumn laughed no 
more. He looked out earnestly over the land 
and the wrinkles in his forehead grew deeper. 

"It must be so then !" he said. 

Then he blew his horn. 

Autumn's horn blew a lusty chime; 
For the second time, for the second time! 

Heed well the call, complying. 
Fling seed to earth! 
Fill sack's full girth! 
Plump back and side! 
Pad belt and hide! 

Hold all wings close for flying! 



20 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Then suddenly a terrible bustle arose in the 
land, for now they all understood. 

"Quick," said Autumn. 

The poppy and the bell-flower and the pink 
stood thin and dry as sticks with their heads 
full of seed. The dandelion had presented 
each one of his seeds with a sweet little para- 
chute. 

"Come, dear Wind, and shake us!" said the 
poppy. 

"Fly away with my seeds, Wind," said the 
dandelion. 

And the wind hastened to do as they asked. 

But the beech cunningly dropped his shaggy 
fruit on to the hare's fur; and the fox got one 
also on his red coat. 

"Quick, now," said Autumn. "There's no 
time here to waste." 

The little brown mice filled their parlors 
from floor to ceiling with nuts and beech-mast 
and acorns. The hedgehog had already eaten 
himself so fat that he could hardly lower his 
quills. The hare and fox and stag put on clean 
white woollen things, under their coats. The 
starling and the thrush and the blackbird saw 



PRINCE AUTUMN 21 

to their downy clothing and exercised their 
wings for the long journey. 

The sun hid himself behind the clouds and 
did not appear for many days. 

It began to rain. The wind quickened its 
pace: it dashed the rain over the meadow, 
whipped the river into foam and whistled 
through the trunks in the forest. 

"Now the song is finished!" said the Prince 
of Autumn. 

Then he put his horn to his mouth and blew. 

Autumn's horn blew a lusty chime, 
For the last time, for the last time! 

Ways close when need is sorest: 
Land-birds, fly clear! 
Plunge, frogs, in mere! 
Bee, lock your lair! 
Take shelter, bear! 

Fall, last leaf in the forest! 

And then it was over. 

The birds flew from the land in flocks. The 
starling and the lapwing, the thrush and the 
blackbird all migrated to the south. 

Every morning before the sun rose the wind 
tore through the forest, and pulled the last 



22 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

leaves off the trees. Every day the wind blew 
stronger, snapped great branches, swept the 
withered leaves together into heaps, scattered 
them again and, at last, laid them like a soft, 
thick carpet over the whole floor of the forest 

The hedgehog crawled so far into a hole 
under a heap of stones that he remained caught 
between two of them and could move neither 
forwards nor backwards. The sparrow took 
lodgings in a deserted swallow's nest; the frogs 
went to the bottom of the pond for good, set- 
tled in the mud, with the tips of their noses up 
in the water and prepared for whatever might 
come. 

The Prince of Autumn stood and gazed over 
the land to see if it was bare and waste so that 
Winter's storms might come buffeting at will 
and the snow lie wherever it pleased. 

Then he stopped before the old oak and 
looked at the ivy that clambered right up to 
the top and spread her green leaves as if Win- 
ter had no existence at all. And while he 
looked at it the ivy-flowers blossomed! They 
sat right at the top and rocked in the wind ! 

"Now I'm coming," roared Winter from 



PRINCE AUTUMN 23 

the mountains. "My clouds are bursting with 
snow; and my storms are breaking loose. I 
can restrain them no longer." 

The Prince of Autumn bent his head and 
listened. He could hear the storm come rush- 
ing down over the mountains. A snowflake 
fell upon his motley cloak . . . and an- 
other . . . and yet another . . . 

For the last time he put his horn to his 
mouth and blew : 

Thou greenest plant and tardiest, 
Thou fairest, rarest, hardiest, 

Bright through unending hours! 
Round Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring, 
Thy vigorous embraces cling. 
Look ! Ivy mine, 'tis / who sing, 

'Tis Autumn wins thy flowers! 

Then he went away in the storm. 



THE SCARF OF THE LADY 

(A French Harvest Legend) 
Translated by Hermine de Nagy 

THE Field of the Lady was the name which 
the peasants gave to a large tract of land be- 
longing to a rich estate. The lord of the castle 
had given these fertile acres to his daughter 
and had told her to do as she pleased with the 
grain which the field produced. Each year at 
harvest time she invited the poor peasants of 
the neighbourhood to come and glean in her 
field, and take home with them as much grain 
as they needed for winter use. 

Sometimes when the gleaners were busily at 
work one of them would cry out joyfully, "Ah, 
there comes the lady of the castle." They 
could see her coming in the distance, for she 
always wore a simple dress of white wool, and 

over her head was thrown a scarf of white silk 

24 



THE SCARF OF THE LADY 25 

striped with many colours. She loved to come 
into the field while the people were at work 
and speak words of encouragement and cheer 
to them. 

One sultry afternoon there were many peas- 
ants gleaning in the field. The lady of the 
castle had been with them for several hours. 
Suddenly she looked up into the threatening 
sky and said, "My friends, see what large 
clouds are gathering. I'm afraid we shall 
have a storm before long. Let us stop glean- 
ing for today and seek shelter." The peas- 
ants hastened a\vay and the lady started to- 
ward the castle. 

As she drew near the green hedge which 
bordered the field she saw coming toward her 
a beautiful young woman and a fair child 
whose hand she held. The little boy's golden 
hair fell in waves over his white tunic. 

"You came to glean," said the lady of the 
castle in her sweet voice, full of welcome. 
"Come then, we'll work together for a little 
while before the rain falls." 

"Thank you," said the young woman. 

The three began to pick up the ripe ears and 



26 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

pile them in small heaps. They had worked 
but a little while, however, when a gust of 
wind swept over the field and great raindrops 
began to fall. The thunder rumbled in the 
distance and streaks of lightning rent the sky. 

"Come, my friends," said the lady of the 
castle. "We must seek shelter. See, there 
near the wood is a great oak, thick with fo- 
liage. Let us hasten to it and stand there until 
the storm is over.' 3 

In a short time they reached the tree and 
stood together under the shelter of its great 
branches. 

With his chubby hand the child took hold 
of the end of his mother's veil and tried to 
cover his curly head with it. 

"You shall have my scarf," said the lady of 
the castle, smiling. 

She slipped it off, wrapped it tenderly 
around the dear child's head and shoulders, 
and kissed his fair young brow. 

Suddenly the great clouds seemed to roll 
away. The lady of the castle stepped out from 
the shelter of the tree to look at the sky. The 
storm had ceased and the birds were beginning 



THE SCARF OF THE LADY 27 

to twitter in the trees. She stood still, looking 
at the wonderful golden light which flooded 
the harvest field. And in the calm silence 
there came floating through the air the sweet- 
est music she had ever heard. At first it 
seemed far, far away. Then it came nearer 
and nearer until the air was filled with har- 
monious voices chanting tenderly in the purest 
angelic tones. She turned toward her com- 
panions and lo! they had disappeared. 

In the distance there was a sound like the 
light fluttering of wings. The lady of the 
castle looked toward the hedge where she had 
first seen her mysterious companions. There 
she saw them again the lovely woman and 
the golden-haired child. They were rising 
softly, softly upon fleecy clouds. Around them 
and mounting with them was a band of angels 
chanting a joyful Hosanna! 

The marvelous vision rose slowly into the 
clear blue of the heavens. Then on the wet 
ears of grain in the harvest field the lady of the 
castle knelt in silent adoration, for she knew 
she had seen the Virgin and the Holy Child. 
While she worshipped in breathless silence 



28 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

the heavenly choir halted and in clear, ring- 
ing tones the angels sang out: 

"Blessed be thou! 

"Blessed be the good lady who is ever ready 
to help the poor and unfortunate! Blessed be 
this Field of Alms." 

The Virgin stretched forth her hands to 
bless the lady and the harvest field. At the 
same time the Holy Child took from his head 
and shoulders the silk scarf which the lady 
of the castle had wrapped about him, and gave 
it to two rosy- winged cherubim. Away they 
flew one to the right, the other to the left, 
each holding an end of the scarf which 
stretched as they flew into a marvelous rain- 
bow arch across the blue vault of the sky. The 
Virgin and the Holy Child, followed by the 
angelic choir, rose slowly, slowly into the sky. 

Softly and gently as wood breezes the heav- 
enly music died away and the vision disap- 
peared. 

The lady of the castle rose to her feet A 
marvelous thing had happened. The small 
heaps of grain gathered by the gleaners had 
changed into a harvest richer than the field 



THE SCARF OF THE LADY 29 

had ever produced before. Over all in the 
sky still shone the lovely rainbow arch 
the arch of promise across the Field of Alms. 

(Adapted.) 



THE SICKLE MOON 

(Tyrolean Harvest Legend) 

ABBIE FARWELL BROWN 

When of the crescent moon aware 

Hung silver in the sky, 
"See, Saint Nothburga's sickle there!" 

The Tyrol children cry. 

It is a quaint and pretty tale 

Six hundred summers old, 
When in the green Tyrolean vale, 

The peasant folk is told. 

The town of Eben nestled here 

Is little known to fame, 
Save as the legends make it dear, 

In Saint Nothburga's name. 

For in this quiet country place, 

Where a white church spire reared, 
Nothburga dwelt, a maid of grace 

Who loved the Lord and feared. 

30 



THE SICKLE MOON 31 

She was a serving little lass, 

Bound to a farmer stern, 
Who to and fro all day must pass 

Her coarse black bread to earn. 

She spun and knit the fleecy wool, 

. She bleached the linen white, 
She drew the water-buckets full, 
And milked the herd at night. 

And more than this, when harvest-tide 

Turned golden all the plain, 
She took her sickle, curving wide, 

And reaped the ripened grain. 

All people yielded to the charm 

Of this meek-serving maid, 
Save the stern master of the farm, 

Of whom all stood afraid. 

For he was hard to humble folk, 

And cruel to the poor, 
A godless man, who evil spoke, 

A miser of his store. 

Now it was on a Saturday 

Near to the Sabbath time, 
Which in those ages far away 

Began at sunset-chime. 



32 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Nothburga in the harvest gold 

Was reaping busily, 
Although the day was grown so old 

That dimly could she see. 

Close by her cruel master stood, 

And fearsome was his eye ; 
He glowered at the maiden good, 

He glowered at the sky. 

For many rows lacked reaping, yet 

The dark was falling fast, 
And soon the round sun would be set 

And working time be past. 

"Cling clang!" The sunset-chime pealed 
out, 

And Sunday had begun; 
Nothburga sighed and turned about 

The reaping was not done. 

She laid her curving sickle by, 

And said her evening hymn, 
Wide-gazing on the starless sky, 

Where all was dark and dim. 

But hark! A hasty summons came 

To drown her whispered words, 
An angry voice called out her name, 

And scared the nestling birds. 



THE SICKLE MOON 33 

"What ho, Nothburga, lazy one! 

Bend to your task again, 
And do not think the day is done 

Till you have reaped this grain." 

"But master," spoke Nothburga low, 

"It's the Sabbath time; 
We must keep holy hours now, 

After the sunset-chime." 

And then in rage the master cried: 

"The day belongs to me! 
I'm lord of all the country side, 

And hold the time in fee ! 

"No Sunday-thought shall spoil the gain 

That comes a hundred fold 
From reaping of my golden grain, 

Which shall be turned to gold." 

"Nay, Master, give me gracious leave 

The Lord's will I must keep; 
Upon the holy Sabbath day 

My sickle shall not reap !" 

The master raised his heavy hand 

To deal the maid a blow ; 
"Thou shalt!" he cried his fierce command, 

And would have struck, when lo! 



34 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Nothburga whirled her sickle bright 

And tossed it in the sky! 
A flash, a gleam of silver light, 

As it went circling by, 

And there, beside a little star 
Which had peeped out to see, 

The sickle hung itself afar, 
As swiftly as could be! 

The master stared up, wondering; 

Forgetting all his rage, 
To see so strange and quaint a thing- 

The marvel of the age. 

And she, the maid so brave and good, 
Thenceforth had naught to fear, 

But kept the Sabbath as she would, 
And lived a life of cheer. 

So when among the stars you see 

The silver sickle flame, 
Think how the wonder came to be, 

And bless Nothburga's name. 



WINTER'S HERALD 
JANE ANDREWS 

IN the days of chivalry, mail-clad knights, 
armed with shield and spear, rode through the 
land to defend the right and to punish the 
wrong. Whenever they were to meet each 
other in battle at the great tournaments, a her- 
ald was first sent to announce the fight and 
give fair warning to the opponents, that each 
might be in all things prepared to meet the 
other, and defend or attack wisely and upon 
his guard. 

So, dear children, you must know that Win- 
ter, who is coming clad in his icy armour, with 
his spear, the keen sleet, sends before him a 
herald, that we may not be all unprepared for 
his approach. 

It is an autumn night when this herald 
comes; all the warm September noons have 
slipped away, and the red October sunsets are 

35 



36 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

almost gone; still the afternoon light, shining 
through the two maples, casts a crimson and 
yellow glow on the white wall of my little 
room, and on the paths is a delicate carpet 
of spotted leaves over the brown groundwork. 

It is past midnight when the herald is 
called; and although his knight is so fierce, 
loud, and blustering, he moves noiselessly 
forth and carries his warning to all the coun- 
try round. Through the little birch wood he 
comes, and whispers a single word to the 
golden leaves that are hanging so slightly on 
the slender boughs; one little shiver goes 
through them, sends them fluttering all to the 
ground, and the next morning their brown, 
shriveled edges tell a sad story. 

Through the birch wood he hurries and on 
to the bank of the brook that runs through the 
long valley; for the muskrat, who has his home 
under the shelving bank, must hear the news 
and make haste to arrange his hole with win- 
ter comforts before the brook is frozen. While 
he crosses the meadow the field mouse and the 
mole hear his warning and lay their heads to- 
gether to see what is best to be done. Indeed, 



WINTER'S HERALD 37 

the mole, who himself can scarcely see at all, 
is always of opinion that two heads are better 
than one in such cases. 

Beyond the brook is Farmer Thompson's 
field of squashes. "I will not hurt you to- 
night," says the herald as he creeps among 
them; "only a little nip here and a bite there, 
that the farmer may see to-morrow morning 
that it is time to take you into the barn." The 
turnips stand only on the other side of the 
fence and cannot fail to know also that the 
herald has come. 

But up in Lucy's flower garden are the 
heliotropes and fuchsias, tea roses and gera- 
niums, delicate, sensitive things, who cannot 
bear a cold word, it must have been really 
quite terrible what he said there; for before 
sunrise the beautiful plants hung black and 
withered and no care from their mistress, no 
smiles or kind words, could make them look 
up again. The ivy had borne it bravely, and 
only showed on his lower leaves, which lay 
among the grass, a frosty fringe, where the 
dew used to hang. 

My two maples heard the summons and 



38 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

threw off their gay dresses, which withered 
and faded as they fell in heaps on the side- 
walk. The next morning, children going to 
school scuffed ankle-deep among them and 
laughed with delight And the maples 
bravely answered the herald: "Now let him 
come, your knight of the north wind and the 
storm and the sleet; we have dropped the gay 
leaves which he might have torn from us. Let 
him come ; we have nothing to lose. His snows 
will only keep our roots the warmer, and his 
winds cannot blow away the tiny new buds 
which we cherish, thickly wrapped from the 
cold, to make new leaves in the spring." And 
the elm and the linden and horse-chestnut sent 
also a like brave answer back by the herald. 

Over the whole village green went the whis- 
perer, leaving behind him a white network 
upon the grass; and before the sun was up to 
tangle his beams in its meshes and pull it all 
to pieces, old widow Blake has seen it from 
her cottage window and said to herself : "Well, 
winter is coming; I must set up some warm 
socks for the boys today, and begin little Tom- 
mv's mittens before the week is out." 



WINTER'S HERALD 39 

And Farmer Thompson stands at his great 
barn door, while yet the eastern sky is red, 
and tells Jake and Ben that the squashes and 
pumpkins and turnips must all be housed in 
cellar and barn before night; for a frost like 
this is warning enough to any man to begin to 
prepare for winter. 

Mr. Winslow, the gardener, is working all 
day with matting and straw, tying up and 
packing warmly his tender shrubs and trees; 
and the climbing rose that is trained against 
the west end of the piazza must be made safe 
from the cold winds that will soon be creep- 
ing round there. 

What will your mother do when she sees 
the white message that the herald has left in 
his frosty writing all over the lawn? Will she 
put away the muslin frocks and little pink 
or blue calicoes and ginghams, the straw hats, 
and Frank's white trousers and summer jack- 
ets, just as the trees threw aside their summer 
leaves? 

Not quite like the trees; for your clothes 
can't be made new every spring out of little 
brown buds, but must be put away in the great 



40 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

drawers and trunks of the clothes-press, to 
wait for you through the winter. 

And see how your mother will bring out the 
woolen stockings, warm hoods and caps, mit- 
tens, cloaks and plaided dresses; and try on 
and make over, that all things may be ready. 
For it is with such things as these that she arms 
her little boys and girls to meet the knight who 
is coming with north wind and storm. 

Old Margaret, who lives in the little brown 
house down at the corner, although she cannot 
read a word from a book, reads the herald's 
message as well as your mother can. But here 
are her five boys, barefooted and ragged, ever 
in summer clothes, and her husband lies back 
with a fever. 

She can't send back so brave an answer as 
your mother does. But your mother, and 
Cousin George's mother, and Uncle James can 
help her to make a good, brave answer; for 
here is Frank's last winter's jacket, quite too 
small for him, just right for little Jim; and 
father's old overcoat will make warm little 
ones for two of the other boys. And here are 
stout new shoes and woolen socks, and comfort- 



WINTER'S HERALD 41 

able bedclothes for the sick man. Margaret 
sends a brave answer now, although this morn- 
ing she was half ready to cry when she saw the 
message that Winter had sent. 

Look about you, children, when the herald 
comes, and see what answers the people are 
giving him ; I have told you a few. You can 
tell me many, if you will, before another year 
goes by. 



JACK FROST 

The door was shut as doors should be 
Before you went to bed last night; 

Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see, 
And left your windows silver white. 

He must have waited till you slept, 
And not a single word he spoke, 

But penciled o'er the panes and crept 
Away before you woke. 

And now you can not see the trees 

Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane 

But there are fairer things than these 
His fingers traced on every pane. 

Rocks and castles towering high; 

Hills and dales and streams and fields, 
And knights in armour riding by, 

With nodding plumes and shining shields. 

And here are little boats, and there 

Big ships with sails spread to the breeze, 
And yonder, palm trees waving fair 

And islands set in silver seas. 

42 



JACK FROST 43 

And butterflies with gauzy wings ; 

And herds of cows and flocks of sheep; 
And fruit and flowers and all the things 

You see when you are sound asleep. 

For creeping softly underneath 

The door when all the lights are out, 

Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe 
And knows the things you think about. 

He paints them on the window pane 
In fairy lines with frozen steam; 

And when you wake, you see again 
The lovely things you saw in dream. 

GABRIEL SETOUN, 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 

MARY WILKINS FREEMAN 

A VERY long time ago, before our grandmoth- 
er's time, or our great-grandmother's, or our 
grandmothers' with a very long string of greats 
prefixed, there were no pumpkins; people had 
never eaten a pumpkin-pie, or even stewed 
pumpkin; and that was the time when the 
Pumpkin Giant flourished. 

There have been a great many giants who 
have flourished since the world began, and, al- 
though a select few of them have been good 
giants, the majority of them have been so bad 
that their crimes even more than their size 
have gone to make them notorious. But the 
Pumpkin Giant was an uncommonly bad one, 
and his general appearance and his behaviour 
were such as to make one shudder to an ex- 
tent that you would hardly believe possible. 

44 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 45 

The convulsive shivering caused by the mere 
mention of his name, and, in some cases where 
the people were unusually sensitive, by the 
mere thought of him even, more resembled the 
blue ague than anything else; indeed was 
known by the name of "the Giant's Shakes." 

The Pumpkin Giant was very tall; he prob- 
ably would have overtopped most of the giants 
you have ever heard of. I don't suppose the 
Giant who lived on the Bean-stalk whom Jack 
visited was anything to compare with him; 
nor that it would have been a possible thing 
for the Pumpkin Giant, had he received an in- 
vitation to spend an afternoon with the Bean- 
stalk Giant, to accept, on account of his inabil- 
ity to enter the Bean-stalk Giant's door, no 
matter how much he stooped. 

The Pumpkin Giant had a very large, yel- 
low head, which was also smooth and shiny. 
His eyes were big and round, and glowed like 
coals of fire; and you would almost have 
thought that his head was lit up inside with 
candles. Indeed there was a rumour to that 
effect amongst the common people, but that 
was all nonsense, of course ; no one of the more 



46 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

enlightened class credited it for an instant. 
His mouth, which stretched half around his 
head, was furnished with rows of pointed 
teeth, and he was never known to hold it any 
other way than wide open. 

The Pumpkin Giant lived in a castle, as a 
matter of course; it is not fashionable for a 
giant to live in any other kind of a dwelling 
why, nothing would be more tame and unin- 
teresting than a giant in a two-story white 
house with green blinds and a picket fence, or 
even a brown-stone front, if he could get into 
either of them, which he could not. 

The Giant's castle was situated on a moun- 
tain, as it ought to have been, and there was 
also the usual courtyard before it, and the cus- 
tomary moat, which was full of bones! All I 
have got to say about these bones is, they were 
not mutton bones. A great many details of 
this story must be left to the imagination of 
the reader; they are too harrowing to relate. 
A much tenderer regard for the feelings of 
the audience will be shown in this than in most 
giant stories; we will even go so far as to state 
in advance, that the story has a good end, 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 47 

thereby enabling readers to peruse it comfort- 
ably without unpleasant suspense. 

The Pumpkin Giant was fonder of little 
boys and girls than anything else in the world; 
but he was somewhat fonder of little boys, and 
more particularly of fat little boys. 

The fear and horror of this Giant extended 
over the whole country. Even the King on 
his throne was so severely afflicted with the 
Giant's Shakes that he had been obliged to 
have the throne propped, for fear it should 
topple over in some unusually violent fit. 
There was good reason why the King shook; 
his only daughter, the Princess Ariadne Diana, 
was probably the fattest princess in the whole 
world at that date. So fat was she that she 
had never walked a step in the dozen years 
of her life, being totally unable to progress 
over the earth by any method except rolling. 
And a really beautiful sight it was, too, to see 
the Princess Ariadne Diana, in her cloth-of- 
gold rolling-suit, faced with green velvet and 
edged with ermine, with her glittering crown 
on her head, trundling along the avenues of 
the royal gardens, which had been furnished 



48 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

with strips of rich carpeting for her express 
accommodation. 

But gratifying as it would have been to the 
King, her sire, under other circumstances, to 
have had such an unusually interesting daugh- 
ter, it now only served to fill his heart with 
the greatest anxiety on her account. The Prin- 
cess was never allowed to leave the palace 
without a body-guard of fifty knights, the very 
flower of the King's troops, with lances in rest, 
but in spite of all this precaution, the King 
shook. 

Meanwhile amongst the ordinary people 
who could not procure an escort of fifty armed 
knights for the plump among their children, 
the ravages of the Pumpkin Giant were fright- 
ful. It was apprehended at one time that there 
would be very few fat little girls, and no fat 
little boys at all, left in the kingdom. And 
what made matters worse, at that time the 
Giant commenced taking a tonic to increase 
his appetite. 

Finally the King, in desperation, issued a 
proclamation that he would knight any one, 
be he noble or common, who should cut off 



THE PUMPKIN \JIANT 49 

the head of the Pumpkin Giant. This was 
the King's usual method of rewarding any 
noble deed in his kingdom. It was a cheap 
method, and besides everybody liked to be a 
knight 

When the King issued his proclamation 
every man in the kingdom who was not al- 
ready a knight, straightway tried to contrive 
ways and means to kill the Pumpkin Giant. 
But there was one obstacle which seemed in- 
surmountable : they were afraid, and all of 
them had the Giant's Shakes so badly, that 
they could not possibly have held a knife 
steady enough to cut off the Giant's head, even 
if they had dared to go near enough for that 
purpose. 

There was one man who lived not far from 
the terrible Giant's castle, a poor man, his only 
worldly wealth consisting in a large potato- 
field and a cottage in front of it. But he had 
a boy of twelve, an only son, who rivaled the 
Princess Ariadne Diana in point of fatness. 
He was unable to have a body-guard for his 
son; so the amount of terror which the inhab- 
itants of that humble cottage suffered day and 



50 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

night was heart-rending. The poor mother 
had been unable to leave her bed for two years, 
on account of the Giant's Shakes; her husband 
barely got a living from the potato-field; half 
the time he and his wife had hardly enough to 
eat, as it naturally took the larger part of the 
potatoes to satisfy the fat little boy, their son, 
and their situation was truly pitiable. 

The fat boy's name was Aeneas, his father's 
name was Patroclus, and his mother's Daphne, 
It was all the fashion in those days to have 
classical names. And as that was a fashion as 
easily adopted by the poor as the rich, every- 
body had them. They were just like Jim and 
Tommy and May in these days. Why, the 
Princess's name, Ariadne Diana, was nothing 
more nor less than Ann Eliza with us. 

One morning Patroclus and Aeneas were out 
in the field digging potatoes, for new potatoes 
were just in the market. The Early Rose po- 
tato had not been discovered in those days ; but 
there was another potato, perhaps equally 
good, which attained to a similar degree of 
celebrity. It was called the Young Planta- 
genet, and reached a very large size indeed, 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 51 

much larger than the Early Rose does in our 
time. 

Well, Patroclus and Aeneas had just dug 
perhaps a bushel of Young Plantagenet pota- 
toes. It was slow work with them, for Pa- 
troclus had the Giant's Shakes badly that 
morning, and of course Aeneas was not very 
swift. He rolled about among the potato-hills 
after the manner of the Princess Ariadne 
Diana; but he did not present as imposing an 
appearance as she, in his homespun farmer's 
frock. 

All at once the earth trembled violently. 
Patroclus and Aeneas looked up and saw the 
Pumpkin Giant coming with his mouth wide 
open. "Get behind me, O my darling son!" 
cried Patroclus. 

Aeneas obeyed, but it was of no use ; for you 
could see his cheeks each side his father's 
waistcoat. 

Patroclus was not ordinarily a brave man, 
but he was brave in an emergency; and as that 
is the only time when there is the slightest 
need of bravery, it was just as well. 

The Pumpkin Giant strode along faster and 



52 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

faster, opening his mouth wider and wider, 
until they could fairly hear it crack at the cor- 
ners. 

Then Patroclus picked up an enormous 
Young Plantagenet and threw it plump into 
the Pumpkin Giant's mouth. The Giant 
choked and gasped, and choked and gasped, 
and finally tumbled down and died. 

Patroclus and Aeneas, while the Giant was 
choking, had run to the house and locked 
themselves in ; then they looked out of the win- 
dow; when they saw the Giant tumble down 
and lie quite still, they knew he must be dead. 
Then Daphne was immediately cured of the 
Giant's Shakes, and got out of bed for the first 
time in two years. Patroclus sharpened the 
carving-knife on the kitchen stove, and they 
all went out into the potato-field. 

They cautiously approached the prostrate 
Giant, for fear he might be shamming, and 
might suddenly spring up at them and Aeneas. 
But no, he did not move at all ; he was quite 
dead. And, all taking turns, they hacked off 
his head with the carving-knife. Then Aeneas 
had it to play with, which was quite appro- 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 53 

priate, and a good instance of the sarcasm of 
destiny. 

The King was notified of the death of the 
Pumpkin Giant, and was greatly rejoiced 
thereby. His Giant's Shakes ceased, the props 
were removed from the throne, and the Prin- 
cess Ariadne Diana was allowed to go out 
without her body-guard of fifty knights, much 
to her delight, for she found them a great hin- 
drance to the enjoyment of her daily outings. 

It was a great cross, not to say an embarrass- 
ment, when she was gleefully rolling in pur- 
suit of a charming red and gold butterfly, to 
find herself suddenly stopped short by an 
armed knight with his lance in rest. 

But the King, though his gratitude for the 
noble deed knew no bounds, omitted to give 
the promised reward and knight Patroclus. 

I hardly know how it happened I don't 
think it was anything intentional. Patroclus 
felt rather hurt about it, and Daphne would 
have liked to be a lady, but Aeneas did not 
care in the least. He had the Giant's head to 
play with and that was reward enough for 
him. There was not a boy in the neighbour- 



54 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

hood but envied him his possession of such a 
unique plaything; and when they would stand 
looking over the wall of the potato-field with 
longing eyes, and he was flying over the ground 
with the head, his happiness knew no bounds; 
and Aeneas played so much with the Giant's 
head that finally late in the fall it got broken 
and scattered all over the field. 

Next spring all over Patroclus's potato-field 
grew running vines, and in the fall Giant's 
heads. There they were all over the field, 
hundreds of them! Then there was conster- 
nation indeed! The natural conclusion to be 
arrived at when the people saw the yellow 
Giant's heads making their appearance above 
the ground was, that the rest of the Giants were 
coming. 

"There was one Pumpkin Giant before," 
said they; "now there will be a 'whole army of 
them. If it was dreadful then what will it be 

in the future? If one Pumpkin Giant gave us 



the Shakes so badly, what will a whole army 
of them do?" 

But when some time had elapsed and noth- 
ing more of the Giants appeared above the 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 55 

surface of the potato-field, and as moreover 
the heads had not yet displayed any sign of 
opening their mouths, the people began to 
feel a little easier, and the general excitement 
subsided somewhat, although the King had or- 
dered out Ariadne Diana's body-guard again, 

Now Aeneas had been born with a propen- 
sity for putting everything into his mouth and 
tasting it; there was scarcely anything in his 
vicinity which could by any possibility be 
tasted, which he had not eaten a bit of. This 
propensity was so alarming in his babyhood, 
that Daphne purchased a book of antidotes; 
"and if it had not been for her admirable good 
judgment in doing so, this story would prob- 
ably never have been told ; for no human baby 
could possibly have survived the hetero- 
geneous diet which Aeneas had indulged in. 
There was scarcely one of the antidotes which 
had not been resorted to from time to time. 

Aeneas had become acquainted with the pe- 
culiar flavour of almost everything in his im- 
mediate vicinity except the Giant's heads; and 
he naturally enough cast longing eyes at them. 
Night and day he wondered what a Giant's 



56 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

head could taste like, till finally one day when 
Patroclus was away he stole out into the po- 
tato-field, cut a bit out of one of the Giant's 
heads and ate it. He was almost afraid to, but 
he reflected that his mother could give him an 
antidote; so he ventured. It tasted very sweet 
and nice; he liked it so much that he cut off 
another piece and ate that, then another and 
another, until he had eaten two-thirds of a 
Giant's head. Then he thought it was about 
time for him to go in and tell his mother and 
take an antidote, though he did not feel ill 
at all yet. 

"Mother," said he, rolling slowly into the 
cottage, "I have eaten two-thirds of a Giant's 
head, and I guess you had better give me an 
antidote." 

"O, my precious son!" cried Daphne, "how 
could you?" She looked in her book of anti- 
dotes, but could not find one antidote for a 
Giant's head. 

"O Aeneas, my dear, dear son!" groaned 
Daphne, "there is no antidote for Giant's 
head! What shall we do?" 

Then she sat down and wept, and Aeneas 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 57 

wept, too, as loud as he possibly could. And 
he apparently had excellent reason to; for it 
did not seem possible that a boy could eat two- 
thirds of a Giant's head and survive it without 
an antidote. Patroclus came home, and they 
told him, and he sat down and lamented with 
them. All day they sat weeping and watching 
Aeneas, expecting every moment to see him 
die. But he did not die; on the contrary he 
had never felt so well in his life. 

Finally at sunset Aeneas looked up and 
laughed. "I am not going to die," said he; "I 
never felt so well; you had better stop crying. 
And I am going out to get some more of that 
Giant's head ; I am hungry." 

"Don't, don't!" cried his father and mother; 
but he went; for he generally took his own 
way, very like most only sons. He came back 
with a whole Giant's head in his arms. 

"See here, father and mother," cried he; 
"we'll all have some of this; it evidently is not 
poison, and it is good a great deal better than 
potatoes !" 

Patroclus and Daphne hesitated, but they 
were hungry, too. Since the crop of Giant's 



58 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

heads had sprung up in their field instead of 
potatoes, they had been hungry most of the 
time ; so they tasted. 

"It is good," said Daphne; "but I think it 
would be better cooked." So she put some in 
a kettle of water over the fire, and let it boil 
awhile ; then she dished it up, and they all ate 
it. It was delicious. It tasted more like 
stewed pumpkin than anything else ; in fact it 
.was stewed pumpkin. 

Daphne was inventive ; and something of a 
genius; and next day she concocted another 
dish out of the Giant's heads. She boiled 
them, and sifted them, and mixed them with 
eggs and sugar and milk and spice; then she 
lined some plates with puff paste, filled them 
with the mixture, and set them in the oven to 
bake. 

The result was unparalleled; nothing half 
so exquisite had ever been tasted. They were 
all in ecstasies, Aeneas in particular. They 
gathered all the Giant's heads and stored them 
in the cellar. Daphne baked pies of them 
every day, and nothing could surpass the fe- 
licity of the whole family. 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 59 

One morning the King had been out hunt- 
ing, and happened to ride by the cottage of 
Patroclus with a train of his knights. Daphne 
was baking pies as usual, and the kitchen door 
and window were both open, for the room was 
so warm; so the delicious odour of the pies 
perfumed the whole air about the cottage. 

"What is it smells so utterly lovely?" ex- 
claimed the King, sniffing in a rapture. 

He sent his page in to see. 

"The housewife is baking Giant's head 
pies," said the page, returning. 

"What?" thundered the King. "Bring out 
one to me!" 

So the page brought out a pie to him, and 
after all his knights had tasted to be sure it 
was not poison, and the King had watched 
them sharply for a few moments to be sure 
they were not killed, he tasted too. 

Then he beamed. It was a new sensation, 
and a new sensation is a great boon to a 
king. 

"I never tasted anything so altogether super- 
fine, so utterly magnificent in my life," cried 
the King; "stewed peacocks' tongues from the 



60 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Baltic are not to be compared with it! Call 
out the housewife immediately!" 

So Daphne came out trembling, and Pa- 
troclus and Aeneas also. 

"What a charming lad!" exclaimed the 
King, as his glance fell upon Aeneas. "Now 
tell me about these wonderful pies, and I will 
reward you as becomes a monarch!" 

Then Patroclus fell on his knees and related 
trie whole history of the Giant's head pies 
from the beginning. 

The King actually blushed. "And I for- 
got to knight you, oh, noble and brave man, 
and to make a lady of your admirable wife!" 

Then the King leaned gracefully down from 
his saddle, and struck Patroclus with his jew- 
eled sword and knighted him on the spot. 

The whole family went to live at the royal 
palace. The roses in the royal gardens were 
uprooted, and Giant's heads (or pumpkins, as 
they came to be called) were sown in their 
stead; all the royal parks also were turned into 
pumpkin-fields. 

Patroclus was in constant attendance on the 
King, and used to stand all day in his ante- 



THE PUMPKIN GIANT 61 

chamber. Daphne had a position of great 
responsibility, for she superintended the bak- 
ing of the pumpkin pies, and Aeneas finally 
married the Princess Ariadne Diana. 

They were wedded in great state by fifty 
archbishops; and all the newspapers united 
in stating that they were the most charming 
and well-matched young couple that had ever 
been united in the kingdom. 

The stone entrance of the Pumpkin Giant's 
Castle was securely fastened, and upon it was 
engraved an inscription composed by the first 
poet in the kingdom, for which the King made 
him laureate, and gave him the liberal pen- 
sion of fifty pumpkin pies per year. 

The following is the inscription in full : 

"Here dwelt the Pumpkin Giant once. 
He's dead the nation doth rejoice, 
For, while he was alive, he lived 
By e g dear, fat, little boys." 

The inscription is said to remain to this day; 
if you were to go there you would probably 
see it. 



LADY WHITE AND LADY YELLOW 

(A Legend of Japan) 
FREDERICK HADLAND DAVIS 

LONG ago there grew in a meadow a white and 
a yellow chrysanthemum side by side. One 
day an old gardener chanced to come across 
them and he took a great fancy to Lady Yel- 
low. He told her that if she would come 
along with him he would make her far more 
attractive; that he would give her delicate 
food and fine clothes to wear. 

Lady Yellow was so charmed with what the 
old man said, that she forgot all about the 
white sister and consented to be lifted up, car- 
ried in the arms of the old gardener and to 
be placed in his garden. 

When Lady Yellow and her master had de- 
parted, Lady White wept bitterly. Her own 

simple beauty had been despised; butj what 

62 



LADY WHITE AND LADY YELLOW 63 

was far worse, she was forced to remain in the 
meadow alone, without the companionship of 
her sister, to whom she had been devoted. 

Day by day Lady Yellow grew more fair 
in her master's garden. No one would have 
recognized the common flower of the field, 
but though her petals were long and purled 
and her leaves so clean and well cared for, she 
sometimes thought of Lady White alone in the 
field, and wondered how she managed to make 
the long and lonely hours pass by. 

One day a village chief came to the old 
man's garden in quest of a perfect chrysanthe- 
mum that he might take to his lord for a crest 
design. He informed the old man that he did 
not want a fine chrysanthemum with long 
petals. What he wanted was a simple white 
chrysanthemum with sixteen petals. The old 
man told the village chief to see Lady Yel- 
low, but this flower did not please him, and, 
thanking the gardener, he took his departure. 

On his way home he happened to enter a 
field when he saw Lady White weeping. She 
told him the sad story of her loneliness, and 
when she had finished her tale of woe the vil- 



64 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

lage chief informed her that he had seen Lady 
Yellow and did not consider her half so beau- 
tiful as her own white self. At these cheery 
words Lady White dried her eyes and she 
nearly jumped off her little feet when this 
kind man told her that he wanted her for his 
lord's crest! 

In another happy moment the happy Lady 
White was being carried in a palanquin. 
When she reached the Daimyo's palace all 
warmly praised her perfection of form. Great 
artists came from far and near, set about her 
and sketched the flower with wonderful skill. 
She soon saw her pretty white face on all the 
Daimyo's most precious belongings. She saw 
it on his armour and lacquer boxes, on his 
quilts and cushions and robes. She was painted 
floating down a stream and in all manner of 
quaint and beautiful ways. Every one ac- 
knowledged that the white chrysanthemum 
with her sixteen petals made the most won- 
derful crest in all Japan. While Lady 
White's happy face lived forever designed 
upon the Daimyo's possessions, Lady Yellow 
met with a sad fate. She had bloomed for her- 



LADY WHITE AND LADY YELLOW 65 

self alone and had drunk in the visitor's praise 
as eagerly as she did the dew upon her finely 
curled petals. One day, however, she felt a 
stiffness in her limbs and a cessation of the 
exuberance of life. Her once proud head fell 
forward, and when the old man found her he 
pulled her up and tossed her upon a rubbish 
heap. 

The sixteen petal chrysanthemum is one of the crests of 
the Imperial family. 



THE SHET-UP POSY 

ANN TRUMBULL SLOSSON 

ONCE there was a posy. 'Twa'n't a common 
kind o' posy, that blows out wide open, so's 
everybody can see its outsides and its insides 
too. But 'twas one of them posies like what 
grows down the road, back o' your pa's sugar- 
house, Danny, and don't come till way towards 
fall. They're sort o' blue, but real dark, and 
they look's if they was buds 'stead o' posies 
only buds opens out, and these doesn't. 
They're all shet up close and tight, and they 
never, never, never opens. Never mind how 
much sun they get, never mind how much rain 
or how much drouth, whether it's cold or hot 
them posies stay shet up tight, kind o' buddy, 
and not finished and humly. But if you pick 
'em open, real careful, with a pin, I've done 
it, you find they're dreadful pretty inside. 



Used by permission of Chas. Scribner and Sons. 

66 



THE SHET-UP POSY 67 

You couldn't see a posy that was finished off 
better, soft and nice, with pretty little stripes 
painted on 'em, and all the little things like 
threads in the middle, sech as the open posies 
has, standing up, with little knots on their tops, 
oh, so pretty, you never did! Makes you 
think real hard, that does; leastways, makes 
me. What's they that way for? If they ain't 
never goin' to open out, what's the use o' havin' 
the shet-up part so slicked up and nice, with 
nobody never seein' it? Folks has different 
names for 'em, dumb foxgloves, blind gen- 
shuns, and all that, but I alters call 'em the 
shet-up posies. 

"Well, 'twas one o' that kind o' posy I was 
goin' to tell you about. 'Twas one o' the shet- 
uppest and the buddiest of all on 'em, all 
blacky-blue and straight up and down, and 
shet up fast and tight. Nobody'd ever dream't 
was pretty inside. And the funniest thing, it 
didn't know 'twas so itself! It thought 'twas 
a mistake somehow, thought it had oughter 
been a posy, and was begun for one, but wasn't 
finished, and 'twas terr'ble unhappy. It knew 
there was pretty posies all 'round there, 



68 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

goldenrod and purple daisies and all; and 
their inside was the right side, and they was 
proud of it, and held it open, and showed the 
pretty lining, all soft and nice with the little 
fuzzy yeller threads standin' up, with little 
balls on their tip ends. And the shet-up posy 
felt real bad; not mean and hateful and be- 
grudgin', you know, and wantin' to take away 
the nice part from the other posies, but sorry, 
and kind o' 'shamed. 

"Oh, deary me!" she says, I most forgot to 
say 'twas a girl posy "deary me, what a 
humly, skimpy, awk'ard thing I be! I ain't 
more'n half made; there ain't no nice, pretty 
lining inside o' me, like them other posies ; and 
on'y my wrong side shows, and that's jest plain 
and common. I can't chirk up folks like the 
goldenrod and daisies does. Nobody won't 
want to pick me and carry me home. I ain't 
no good to anybody, and I never shall be." 

So she kep' on, thinkin' these dreadful sorry 
thinkin's, and most wishin' she'd never been 
made at all. You know 'twa'n't jest at fust she 
felt this way. Fust she thought she was a bud, 
like lots o' buds all 'round her, and she lotted 



THE SHET-UP POSY 69 

on openfn' like they did. But when the days 
kep' passin' by, and all the other buds opened 
out, and showed how pretty they was, and she 
didn't open, why, then she got terr'ble dis- 
couraged; and I don't wonder a mite. She'd 
see the dew a-layin' soft and cool on the other 
posies' faces, and the sun a-shinin' warm on 
'em as they held 'em up, and sometimes she'd 
see a butterfly come down and light on 'em 
real soft, and kind o' put his head down 
to 'em's if he was kissin' 'em, and she thought 
'twould be powerful nice to hold her face up 
to all them pleasant things. But she couldn't. 
But one day, afore she'd got very old, 'fore 
she'd dried up or fell off, or anything like that, 
she see somebody comin' along her way. 
'Twas a man, and he was lookin' at all the 
posies real hard and partic'lar, but he wasn't 
pickin' any of 'eni. Seems's if he was lookin' 
for somethin' diff'rent from what he see, and 
the poor little shet-up posy begun to wonder 
what he was arter. Bimeby she braced up, 
and she asked him about it in her shet-up, 
whisp'rin' voice. And says he, the man says: 
"I'm a-pickin' posies. That's what I work at 



70 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

most o' the time. 'Tain't for myself," he says, 
"but the one I work for. I'm on'y his help. I 
run errands and do chores for him, and it's a 
particular kind o' posy he's sent me for to- 
day." "What for does he want 'em?" says the 
shet-up posy. "Why, to set out in his gar- 
din," the man says. "He's got the beautif'lest 
gardin you never see, and I pick posies for V 
"Deary me," thinks she to herself, "I jest wish 
he'd pick me. But I ain't the kind, I know." 
'And then she says, so soft he can't hardly hear 
her, "What sort o' posies is it you're arter this 
time?" "Well," says the man, "it's a dreadful 
sing'lar order I've got to-day. I got to find a 
posy that's handsomer inside than 'tis outside, 
one that folks ain't took no notice of here, 
'cause 'twas kind o' humly and queer to look 
at, not knowin' that inside 'twas as handsome 
as any posy on the airth. Seen any o' that 
kind?" says the man. 

Well, the shet-up posy was dreadful worked 
up. "Deary dear!" she says to herself, "now 
if they'd on'y finished me off inside! I'm the 
right kind outside, humly and queer enough, 
but there's nothin' worth lookin' at inside, 



THE SHET-UP POSY 71 

I'm certain sure o' that." But she didn't say 
this nor anything else out loud, and bimeby, 
when the man had waited, and didn't get any 
answer, he begun to look at the shet-up posy 
more particular, to see why she was so mum. 
And all of a suddent he says, the man did, 
"Looks- to me's if you was somethin' that kind 
yourself, ain't ye?" 

"Oh, no, no, no!" whispers the shet-up 
posey. "I wish I was, I wish I was. I'm all 
right outside, humly and awk'ard, queer's I 
can be, but I ain't pretty inside, oh! I most 
know I ain't.' 3 "I ain't so sure o' that myself," 
says the man, "but I can tell in a jiffy." "Will 
you have to pick me to pieces?" says the 
shet-up posy. "No, ma'am," says the man; 
"I've got a way o' tellin', the one I work for 
showed me." The shet-up posy never knowed 
what he done to her. I don't know myself, but 
'twas somethin' soft and pleasant, that didn't 
hurt a mite, and then the man he says, "Well, 
well, well !" That's all he said, but he took 
her up real gentle, and begun to carry her 
away. "Where be ye takin' me?" says the 
shet-up posy. "Where ye belong," says the 



72 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

man; "to the gardin o' the one I work for," 
he says. "I didn't know I was nice enough in- 
side," says the shet-up posy, very soft and still. 
"They most gen'ally don't," says the man. 



THE GAY LITTLE KING 

MARY STEWART 

So gay it looked, that young maple tree stand- 
ing in the centre of the pasture with rows and 
rows of dark cedars and hemlocks growing all 
around it! They towered above the little 
maple and yet seemed to bow before it, as 
with their size and strength they shielded it 
from the wind which tossed their branches. 
It was covered, this small tree, with leaves of 
flaming crimson and gold which danced and 
fluttered merrily in the sunshine. 

"Is it after all only a maple tree?" thought 
the little lad Jamie, who lay upon the ground 
in the old pasture watching. Ever since the 
frost in a single night had painted the leaves 
with splendour, that young tree had been a 
real comrade to the cripple boy. Jamie had 
hurt his back the year before, and this sum- 
mer, while the other boys climbed mountains 

73 



74 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

and swam streams, Jamie could only hobble 
upon his crutches as far as the pasture. There 
he lay for hours upon the grass watching the 
clouds drift across the sky and wishing he 
were a cloud or a bird, so he could fly also. 
The days seemed very long, and to make them 
pass more quickly Jamie made up stories about 
the mountains in the distance, the stream 
which rippled at the foot of the pasture and 
the dark evergreen trees which surrounded 
that flaming maple. "They are dull old cour- 
tiers, and he is a gay little king in his corona- 
tion robes," thought the boy and then he sat 
up in astonishment and rubbed his eyes. Was 
he dreaming? No, it was all real, the young 
maple was gone and in its place was a little 
king! A crown of gleaming jewels was upon 
his head, he was dressed in robes of flaming 
crimson and over all was flung a mantle of 
woven gold. And the dark evergreens, where 
were they? There was no sign of them, and 
around the king stood a throng of grave and 
solemn courtiers dressed in green velvet, all 
gazing frowningly at the King. He was 
stamping his foot, Jamie heard the stamp, and 



THE GAY LITTLE KING 75 

then he heard the King cry in a clear, boyish 
voice, "I won't be a King! I won't sit upon 
a throne all day long and make laws and pun- 
ish people and be bowed down to; I want to 
be a little boy and have fun, I do!" 

At that moment a gust of wind blew the 
King's mantle from his shoulders; it looked 
like a handful of golden leaves flying through 
the air, and the King himself or was it only 
a branch of scarlet leaves? no, it was the lit- 
tle King who came scampering over the grass 
toward Jamie. "Come," he said gleefully, 
"we are going to run away, you and I. We're 
going to have the merriest day of our whole 
lives!" 

"But my crutches," sighed Jamie. "See, I 



can't run." 



"Can't you?" whispered the little King 
gently. "Close your eyes and keep tight hold 
of my hand." 

As Jamie shut his eyes he felt something 
very soft, like a bit of thistle down against his 
cheek, and then as light as that same thistle he 
felt himself rising from the ground, drifting, 
floating, flying, up, up "Now open your 



76 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

eyes," said the little King's laughing voice. 
Jamie obeyed, and for a moment he was puz- 
zled. Was he a King, too, he wondered, for 
his clothes were of crimson velvet like the lad's 
beside him, or were they but leaves fluttering 
through the air? 

"Never mind what you are," cried the King, 
reading his look of bewilderment. "We can 
all be lots more things than we dream of until 
the Spirit of Autumn takes hold of us. The 
folks below think us only leaves, but we know 
better, and now, where shall we go? This is 
my last gorgeous day, for tonight Autumn flies 
away from the cold breath of Winter. Let's 
fly to the spot you wish to see more than any- 
thing else in the world." 

"Flying like this is such fun that I don't 
care where we go," answered Jamie, then 
suddenly both leaves but let us say boys 
stopped drifting and gazed in wonder at the 
sight before them. They were in the sun- 
shine, but a shower was falling in the distance 
and opposite them, across the sky, stretched a 
perfect rainbow. 

"Did you ever hear of the pot of gold at 



THE GAY LITTLE KING 77 

the rainbow's foot?" asked Jamie excitedly. 
"Let's go there now and find it!" 

"All right," answered the little King, Diet's 
go there, and if we don't find the pot of gold 
we may find something still more wonderful." 

Through the air they flew toward the rain- 
bow, whose colours were paling a little in the 
center, but growing more and more glorious 
at the end. 

"Shut your eyes again and hold my hand 
tight," said the King. "I must fill your eyes 
with mist or you would be blinded by the sight 
you are going to see. No boy has ever seen it 
before except in dreams." 

For a moment Jamie shivered, they seemed 
to be passing through a thick fog, and then 
"Open your eyes," cried the King. Jamie 
looked 

Picture to yourself a great golden hall filled 
with streams of colours, each as radiant as the 
sunshine, and yet, seen through spectacles of 
mist, so soft they could not dazzle your eyes. 
Each great sheath of colour was moving, shift- 
ing and weaving itself in and out among the 
others like the figure of a dancer, so quickly 



78 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

that it was almost impossible to catch it. And 
yet that was just what hundreds of gay little 
fairies with butterfly wings and scarfs of 
thistle down were trying to do. Each one car- 
ried a golden pot, and as they caught one 
colour after another their captives rushed 
away, leaving a bit of colour in the fairy's 
hand. Hastily dropping that bit into his 
golden pot with a merry, tinkling laugh, the 
fairy was off again after another dancing, 
gleaming bit of rainbow. 

"So there are the pots of gold," cried Jamie. 
"But what do the fairies do with the rainbow's 
colours ?" 

Just then a very merry sprite came tearing 
past, his pot brimming over with glowing 
crimson. "My colour is the favourite just now," 
he cried. "I've got one billion trees to paint 
and all that's left over goes to the cardinal 
flowers." "Mine is just as popular," sang out 
another fairy, his pot overflowing with gold. 
"There are millions of goldenrods for me to 
colour as well as the trees!" "And autumn 
loves mine too," chanted a delicate little sprite 
whose pot was filled with violet. "Think of 



THE GAY LITTLE KING 79 

all the asters without which your golden-rods 
would be very tiresome." "And mine," rip- 
pled another, his pot filled with blue like the 
sea. "Autumn always wants mine ! The gen- 
tians are rare because one blossom takes more 
colour than a thousand of spring's forget-me- 
nots." 

Just then a flaming orange stream rushed 
past, and Jamie and the little king made one 
grab at it. 

"Thieves! Robbers!" cried the colours in a 
whirl of fury. In a second they were all danc- 
ing madly before the eyes of the terrified boys. 
Then there was a crash as of thunder and the 
lads found themselves lying upon the ground, 
wet, thick, gray mist all about them. The 
glorious dance at the rainbow's foot had van- 
ished. 

"I suppose we deserved that," sighed Jamie, 
"but I did want a pocketful of colour stuff to 
show the boys." 

"Never mind, let's fly out of this mist and 
have more fun!" cried the little King. Up 
they floated into the sunshine and they found 
that the winds had been busy while they were 



80 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

gone. Almost every tree stood dark and bare 
the air was full of brilliant, whispering 
leaves. "Winter is surely coming soon," said 
the little King. "Look at the spot below us 
where I grew." Beneath them, in the centre 
of the pasture, stood the maple tree, only one 
crimson leaf still fluttering from its branches. 

"When that leaf is gone, I'll have to say 
good-night for many months," said the King. 
"Come, before that happens we'll go to the 
Cavern of the winds and see how Autumn 
plays upon them." 

This time they flew upward, and now it 
was so cold that Jamie drew his scarlet robes 
close about him. Through the first thin clouds 
they flew ; then right into a great cloud, look- 
ing like an enormous castle, they floated. It 
was one huge hall, so vast that Jamie couldn't 
see the other end, but he could hear, far, far 
away beyond great arches, the rumbling of a 
mighty organ. Crashing and thunderous it 
sounded until the vast hall shook and echoed 
with the sound. "That is Autumn playing 
upon the organ of the winds," said the little 
King, and although he shouted in Jamie's ear 



THE GAY LITTLE KING 81 

it sounded like a whisper above the music. 
"When she touches the keys the winds fill the 
pipes and go roaring off: to carry away the 
leaves below," he explained. "But listen she 
knows the leaves have almost all fallen and 
now she is singing her good-night to them." 

The crashing had ceased, and through the 
great hall echoed a slumber song, as sweet as 
a thrush's note at twilight, as tender as a wood- 
dove's call. 

Jamie closed his eyes and thought of 
lapping waves, and sunsets, the new moon 
rising and the first stars blossoming in the 
sky. 

Did he sleep there in the Winds' Cavern 
with the Spirit of Autumn singing good-night 
to her flaming world? He never knew. 
When he opened his eyes he found himself 
standing upon the doorstep of his own home! 
He was drawing something soft and white 
about him to keep out the cold and he heard 
a whispered "Good-night, Comrade, until next 
Autumn," and a flutter as of leaves flying 
through the air, then the house door opened 
and as he stood with the light of the blazing 



8a THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

fire falling upon him he heard his mother's 
voice : 

"Why, Jamie, you're covered with snow! 
And, my boy, where are your crutches ?" 

Into the house he ran, right into his moth- 
er's outstretched arms, although his crutches 
were still lying out on the pasture, buried be- 
neath the snow! And Jamie was well! Was 
it a gift from the Spirit of Autumn to a little 
lad? Just another of her precious gifts given 
with her flaming leaves, her wind's music, her 
glorious flowers. Has she not a gift for you, 
too, among all these? Open your eyes and 
your ears and find your heart's desire! 

October's touch paints all the maple leaves 
With brilliant crimson, and his golden kiss 
Lies on the clustered hazels; scarlet glows 
The sturdy oak, and copper-hued the beech. 
A russet gloss lingers in the elm; 
The pensile birch is yellowing apace, 
And many-tinted show the woodlands all, 
With autumn's dying slendours. 

Selected. 



THE STORY OF THE OPAL 

ANN DE MORGAN 

THE sun was shining brightly one day, and a 
little Sunbeam slid down his long golden lad- 
der, and crept unperceived under the leaves 
of a large tree. All the Sunbeams are in real- 
ity tiny Sun-fairies, who run down to earth on 
golden ladders, which look to mortals like rays 
of the Sun. When they see a cloud coming 
they climb their ladders in an instant and draw 
them up after them into the Sun. The Sun is 
ruled by a mighty fairy, who every morning 
tells his tiny servants, the beams, where they 
are to shine, and every evening counts them on 
their return, to see he has the right number. 
It is not known, but the Sun and Moon are 
enemies, and that is why they never shine at 
the same time. The fairy of the Moon is a 
woman, and all her beams are tiny women, 
who come down on the loveliest little ladders, 



The opal is the stone associated with the month of October. 

83 



84 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

like threads of silver. No one knows why the 
Sun and Moon quarrelled. Once they were 
very good friends. But now they are bitter 
enemies, and the Sunbeams and Moonbeams 
may not play together. 

One day a little Sunbeam crept into a tree, 
and sat down near a Bullfinch's nest, and 
watched the Bullfinch and its mate. 

"Why should I not have a mate also?" he 
said to himself. He was the prettiest little 
fellow you could imagine. His hair was 
bright gold, and he sat still, leaning one arm 
on his tiny ladder, and listening to the chat- 
ter of the birds. 

"But I shall try to keep awake to-night to 
see her," said a young Bullfinch. 

"Nonsense!" said its mother. "You shall 
do no such thing." 

"But the Nightingale says she is so very 
lovely," said a Wren, looking out from her 
little nest in a hedge close by. 

"The Nightingale!" said the old Bullfinch, 
scornfully. "Every one knows that the Night- 
ingale was moonstruck long ago. Who can 
trust a word he says?" 



THE STORY OF THE OPAL 85 

"Nevertheless, I should like to see her," said 
the Wren. 

"I have seen her, and the Nightingale is 
right," said a Wood-dove in its soft, cooing 
tones. "I was awake last night and saw her; 
she is more lovely than anything that ever 
came here before." 

"Of whom were you talking?" asked the 
Sunbeam; and he shot across to the Bullfinch's 
nest. All the birds were silent when they saw 
him. At last the Bullfinch said, "Only of a 
Moonbeam, your Highness. No one your 
Highness would care about," for the Bullfinch 
remembered the quarrel between the Sun and 
Moon, and did not like to say much. 

"What is she like?" asked the Sunbeam. "I 
have never seen a Moonbeam." 

"I have seen her, and she is as beautiful as 
an angel," said the Wood-dove. "'But you 
should ask the Nightingale. He knows more 
about her than any one, for he always comes 
out to sing to her " 

"Where is the Nightingale?" asked the 
Sunbeam. 

"He is resting now," said the Wren, "and 



THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

will not say a word. But later, as the Sun be- 
gins to set, he will come out and tell you." 

"At the time when all decent birds are go- 
ing to roost," grumbled the Bullfinch. 

"I will wait till the Nightingale comes," 
said the Sunbeam. 

So all day long he shone about the tree. As 
the sun moved slowly down, his ladder 
dropped with it lower and lower, for it was 
fastened to the Sun at one end ; and if he had 
allowed the Sun to disappear before he had 
run back and drawn it up, the ladder would 
have broken against the earth, and the poor 
little Sunbeam could never have gone home 
again, but would have wandered about, be- 
coming paler and paler every minute, till at 
last he died. 

But some time before the sun had gone, 
when it was still shining in a glorious bed of 
red and gold, the Nightingale arose, began 
to sing loud and clear. 

"Oh, is it you at last?" said the Sunbeam. 
"How I have waited for you. Tell me quickly 
about this Moonbeam of whom they are all 
talking." 



THE STORY OF THE OPAL 87 

"What shall I tell you of her?" sang the 
Nightingale. "She is more beautiful than 
the rose. She is the most beautiful thing I 
have ever seen. Her hair is silver, and the 
light of her eyes is far more lovely than yours. 
But why should you want to know about her? 
You belong to the Sun, and hate Moonbeams." 

"I do not hate them," said the Sunbeam, 
"What are they like? Show this one to me 
some night, dear Nightingale.' 1 

"I cannot show her to you now," answered 
the Nightingale; "for she will not come out 
till long after the sun has set; but wait a few 
days, and when the Moon is full she will come 
a little before the Sun sets, and if you hide 
beneath a leaf you may look at her. But you 
must promise not to shine on her, or you might 
hurt her, or break her ladder." 

"I will promise," said the Sunbeam, and 
every day he came back to the same tree at 
sunset, to talk to the Nightingale about the 
Moonbeam, till the Bullfinch was quite angry. 

"To-night I shall see her at last," he said 
to himself, for the Moon was almost full, and 
would rise before the Sun had set. He hid in 



88 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

the oak-leaves, trembling with expectation. 

"She is coming!" said the Nightingale, and 
the Sunbeam peeped out from the branches, 
and watched. In a minute or two a tiny silver 
ladder like a thread was placed among the 
leaves, near the Nightingale's nest, and down 
it came the Moonbeam, and our little Sun- 
beam looked out and saw her. 

She did not at all look as he had expected 
she would, but he agreed with the Nightin- 
gale that she was the loveliest thing he had 
ever seen. She was all silver, and pale greeny 
blue. Her hair and eyes shone like stars. All 
the Sunbeams looked bright, and hot, but she 
looked as cool as the sea; yet she glittered like 
a diamond. The Sunbeam gazed at her in 
surprise, unable to say a word, till all at once 
he saw that his little ladder was bending. The 
sun was sinking, and he had only just time to 
scramble back, and draw his ladder after 
him. 

The Moonbeam only saw his light vanish- 
ing, and did not see him. 

"To whom were you talking, dear Night- 
ingale?" she asked, putting her beautiful white 



THE STORY OF THE OPAL 

arms round his neck, and leaning her head on 
his bosom. 

"To a Sunbeam," answered the Nightin- 
gale. "Ah, how beautiful he is! I was 
telling him about you. He longs to see 
you." 

"I have never seen a Sunbeam," said the 
Moonbeam, wistfully. "I should like to see 
one so much;" and all night long she sat close 
beside the Nightingale, with her head leaning 
on his breast whilst he sang to her of the Sun- 
beam; and his song was so loud and clear that 
it awoke the Bullfinch, who flew into a rage, 
and declared that if it went on any longer 
she would speak to the Owl about it, and have 
it stopped. For the Owl was chief judge, and 
always ate the little birds when they did not 
behave themselves. 

But the Nightingale never ceased, and the 
Moonbeam listened till the tears rose in her 
eyes and her lips quivered. 

"To-night, then, I shall see him," whispered 
the Moonbeam, as she kissed the Nightingale, 
and bid him adieu. 

"And to-night he will see you," said the 



90 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Nightingale, as he settled to rest among the 
leaves. 

All that next day was cloudy, and the Sun 
did not shine, but towards evening the clouds 
passed away and the Sun came forth, and no 
sooner had it appeared than the Nightingale 
saw our Sunbeam's ladder placed close to his 
nest, and in an instant the Sunbeam was beside 
him. 

"Dear, dear Nightingale," he said, "you are 
right. She is more lovely than the dawn. I 
have thought of her all night and all day. 
Tell me, will she come again to-night? I will 
wait to see her." 

"Yes, she will come, and you may speak to 
her, but you must not touch her," said the 
Nightingale; and then they were silent and 
waited. 

Underneath the oak-tree lay a large white 
Stone, a common white Stone, neither beauti- 
ful nor useful, for it lay there where it had 
fallen, and bitterly lamented that it had no 
object in life. It never spoke to the birds, 
who scarcely knew it could speak; but some- 
times, if the Nightingale lighted upon it, and 



THE STORY OF THE OPAL 91 

touched it with his soft breast, or the Moon- 
beam shone upon it, it felt as if it would break 
with grief that it should be so stupid and use- 
less. It watched the Sunbeams and Moon- 
beams come down on their ladders, and won- 
dered that none of the birds but the Night- 
ingale thought the Moonbeam beautiful. 
That evening, as the Sunbeam sat waiting, the 
Stone watched it eagerly, and when the Moon- 
beam placed her tiny ladder among the leaves, 
and slid down it, it listened to all that was 
said. 

At first the Moonbeam did not speak, for 
she did not see the Sunbeam, but she came 
close to the Nightingale, and kissed it as usual. 

"Have you seen him again?" she asked. 
And, on hearing this, the Sunbeam shot out 
from among the green leaves, and stood before 
her. 

For a few minutes she was silent; then she 
began to shiver and sob, and drew nearer to 
to the Nightingale, and if the Sunbeam tried 
to approach her, she climbed up her ladder, 
and went farther still. 

"Do not be frightened, dearest Moonbeam," 



92 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

cried he piteously; "I would not, indeed, do 
you any harm, you are so very lovely, and I 
love you so much." 

The Moonbeam turned away, sobbing. 

"I do not want you to leave me," she said, 
"for if you touch me I shall die. It would 
have been much better for you not to have seen 
me; and now I cannot go back and be happy 
in the Moon, for I shall be always thinking 
of you." 

"I do not care if I die or not, now that I 
have seen you; and see," said the Sunbeam 
sadly, "my end is sure, for the Sun is fast sink- 
ing, and I shall not return to it, I shall stay 
with you." 

"Go, while you have time," cried the Moon- 
beam. But even as she spoke the Sun sank 
beneath the horizon, and the tiny gold ladder 
of the Sunbeam broke with a snap, and the 
two sides fell to earth and melted away. 

"See," said the Sunbeam, "I cannot return 
now, neither do I wish it. I will remain here 
with you till I die." 

"No, no," cried the Moonbeam. "Oh, I 
shall have killed you ! What shall I do ? And 



THE STORY OF THE OPAL 93 

look, there are clouds drifting near the Moon; 
if one of them floats across my ladder it will 
break it. But I cannot go and leave you here ;" 
and she leaned across the leaves to where the 
Sunbeam sat, and looked into his eyes. But 
the Nightingale saw that a tiny white cloud 
was sailing close by the Moon a little cloud 
no bigger than a spot of white wool, but quite 
big and strong enough to break the Moon- 
beam's little ladder. 

"Go, go at once. See! your ladder will 
break," he sang to her; but she did not notice 
him, but sat watching the Sunbeam sadly. 
For a moment the moon's light was obscured, 
as the tiny cloud sailed past it; then the little 
silver ladder fell to earth, broken in two and 
shrunk away, but the Moonbeam did not heed 
it. 

"It does not matter," she said, "for I should 
never have gone back and left you here, now 
that I have seen you." 

So all night long they sat together in the 
oak tree, and the Nightingale sang to them, 
and the other birds grumbled that he kept 
them awake. But the two were very happy, 



94 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

though the Sunbeam knew he was growing 
paler every moment, for he could not live 
twenty-four hours away from the Sun. 

When the dawn began to appear, the Moon- 
beam shivered and trembled. 

"The strong Sun," she said, "would kill me, 
but I fear something even worse than the Sun. 
See how heavy the clouds are! Surely it is 
going to rain, and rain would kill us both at 
once. Oh, where can we look for shelter be- 
fore it comes?" 

The Sunbeam looked up, and saw that the 
rain was coming. 

"Come," he said, "let us go;" and they wan- 
dered out into the forest, and sought for a 
sheltering place, but every moment they grew 
weaker. 

When they were gone, the Stone looked up 
at the Nightingale, and said : 

"Oh, why did they go? I like to hear them 
talk, and they are so pretty; they can find no 
shelter out there, and they will die at once. 
See! in my side there is a large hole where it is 
quite dark, and into which no rain can come. 
Fly after them and tell them to come, that I 



THE STORY OF THE OPAL 95 

will shelter them." So the Nightingale spread 
his wings, and flew, singing: 

"Come back, come back! The Stone will 
shelter you. Come back at once before the 
rain falls." 

They had wandered out into an open field, 
but when she heard the Nightingale, the 
Moonbeam turned her head and said: 

"Surely that is the Nightingale singing. 
See! he is calling us." 

"Follow me," sang the bird. "Back at once 
to shelter in the Stone." But the Moonbeam 
tottered and fell. 

"I am grown so weak and pale," she said, "I 
can no longer move." 

Then the Nightingale flew to earth. 
"Climb upon my back," he said, "and I will 
take you both back to the Stone." So they 
both sat upon his back, and he flew with them 
to the large Stone beneath the tree. 

"Go in," he said, stopping in front of the 
hole; and both passed into the hole, and nestled 
in the darkness within the Stone. 

Then the rain began. All day long it 
rained, and the Nightingale sat in his nest 



96 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

half asleep. But when the Moon rose, after 
the sun had set, the clouds cleared away, and 
the air was again full of tiny silver ladders, 
down which the Moonbeams came, but the 
Nightingale looked in vain for his own partic- 
ular Moonbeam. He knew she could not 
shine on him again, therefore he mourned, 
and sang a sorrowful song. Then he flew 
down to the Stone, and sang a song at the 
mouth of the hole, but there came no answer. 
So he looked down the hole, into the Stone, but 
there was no trace of the Sunbeam or the 
Moonbeam only one shining spot of light, 
where they had rested. Then the Nightingale 
knew that they had faded away and died. 

"They could not live away from the Sun 
and Moon," he said. "Still, I wish I had 
never told the Sunbeam of her beauty; then 
she would be here now." 

When the Bullfinch heard of it she was 
quite pleased. "Now, at least," she said, "we 
shall hear the end of the Moonbeam. I am 
heartily glad, for I was sick of her." 

"How much they must have loved each 
other!" said the Dove. "I am glad at least 



THE STORY OF THE OPAL 97 

that they died together," and she cooed sadly. 

But through the Stone wherein the beams 
had sheltered, shot up bright, beautiful rays 
of light silver and gold. They coloured it all 
over with every colour of the rainbow, and 
when the Sun or Moon warmed it with their 
light it became quite brilliant. So that the 
Stone, from being the ugliest thing in the 
whole forest, became the most beautiful. 

Men found it and called it the Opal. But 
the Nightingale knew that it was the Sunbeam 
and Moonbeam who, in dying, had suffused 
the Stone with their mingled colours and 
light; and the Nightingale will never forget 
them, for every night he sings their story, and 
that is why his song is so sad. 

In sapphire, emerald, amethyst, 
Sparkles the sea by the morning kissed; 
And the mist from the far-off valleys lie 
Gleaming like pearl in the tender sky; 
Soft shapes of cloud that melt and drift, 
With tints of opal that glow and shift. 

CELIA THAXTER. 



LOST: THE SUMMER 

Where has the summer gone? 
She was here just a minute ago, 

With roses and daisies 

To whisper her praises 

And every one loved her so! 

Has any one seen her about? 

She must have gone off in the night! 

And she took the best flowers 

And the happiest hours, 
And asked no one's leave for her flight. 

Have you noticed her steps in the grass? 
The garden looks red where she went; 

By the side of the hedge 

There's a golden-rod edge, 
And the rose vines are withered and bent. 

Do you think she will ever come back? 
I shall watch every day at the gate 

For the robins and clover, 

Saying over and over: 
"I know she will come, if I wait." 

RAYMOND MACDONALD ALDEN. 



BY THE WAYSIDE 

On the hill the golden-rod, 

And the aster in the wood, 
And the yellow sunflower by the brook, 

In autumn beauty stood. 

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT. 



99 



THE KING'S CANDLES 

ONCE upon a time there lived a good king 
who was driven from his throne by an enemy. 
A few faithful knights and servants fled with 
his majesty to a forest where they found shel- 
ter in deep, rocky caves. 

The flight from the king's palace had been 
so hasty that the knights and servants could 
bring only a few things for their king's com- 
fort. It was in the early autumn and his 
majesty feared it would be necessary to live 
in secret during the coming winter. You may 
be sure the king was well pleased to find his 
knights had brought a few warm blankets and 
robes. After he had praised his followers for 
their thoughtfulness in providing for the win- 
ter, a young page stepped forward and said, 
"Your Majesty, I did not bring clothing, but 
I brought as many candles as I could carry." 

"Candles," laughed the king, "now pray tell 
me, lad, why you brought candles. You served 

IOO 



THE KING'S CANDLES 101 

me well in the palace by seeing that my throne 
was properly lighted, but in our forest exile 
we shall have little use for candles, I fear." 

"Sire," replied the page, "I thought that 
your majesty would wish to hold council in 
the evenings, and that I could light your 
throne seat with candles as was the custom in 
the palace." 

"I fear my throne seat, as you call it, will be 
nothing more than a rocky ledge for some 
time," said the king. "See, there is one in the 
inner cave which will serve. So long as the 
candles last, my faithful lad, your king will 
not be obliged to hold council in darkness." 

"So long as the candles last," repeated the 
king's page to himself. "I hope our king's 
soldiers, who are seeking help, will be able to 
drive the usurper away before winter comes." 

The king and his followers soon adapted 
themselves to life in exile. During the day- 
time they hunted game which lurked in the 
thickets; in the evening they gathered together 
in the deep cave and held council. Then it 
was that the king sat on his rude throne lit 
by two candles. 



THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

The king's page with sinking heart saw the 
candles grow fewer and fewer until there were 
but two left. Then at last came an evening 
when the lights were missing from the king's 
throne. In a dark corner of the cave the little 
page sat grieving because he could not see his 
king's face. 

It happened one morning that the lad wan- 
dered to the edge of the woodland where the 
highway separated the richly coloured forest 
trees from a stretch of meadowland where the 
white mist was slowly lifting. On the road- 
side was an old woman carrying a large sack 
on her bent shoulders. When she reached the 
place where the king's page was standing she 
set her sack on the ground and looked wist- 
fully at the meadow, then at the deep ditch 
which separated the field from the high- 
way. 

"Shall I help you across the ditch?" asked 
the king's page. 

"Thank you, my lad," said the old woman. 
"Perhaps I'd better not go across. It would 
be hard for me to reach the highway again. 
But I should like a few of those tall mullein 



THE KING'S CANDLES 103 

spikes. I've none in my bag so fine as tnose 
growing in the meadow." 

"I'll gather some for you," said the king's 
page. 

He leaped across the ditch, and soon filled 
his hands with the tall mullein spikes. 

The old woman was delighted. She tucked 
them into her bag and said, "They make such 
fine winter candles. Thank you, my lad." 

"Winter candles!" exclaimed the king's 
page. 

"Aye," nodded the old woman. "Dip them 
in tallow, a thin coat will do and you have 
candles fit for a king. Thank you kindly." 

"We are in sore need of candles where I 
live, but " the page stopped. 

"Use mullein spikes. They make candles 
fit for a king, I say," and the old woman picked 
up her sack. 

"But we have no tallow," said the lad. 

"I can spare you a lump of tallow, my boy. 
Come along with me to my cottage," said the 
old woman. 

So the king's page carried the sack of mul- 
lein spikes to the old woman's cottage and she 



104 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

gave him a large lump of tallow. On his way 
back he leaped across the ditch again and filled 
his arms with tall mullein spikes. He hurried 
back to the cave, melted the tallow, and dipped 
the weeds into the liquid fat. 

When the king and his party returned that 
evening to the cave, two tall candles were 
standing on the rude throne. 

"See," cried the king's page, "we have a 
fresh supply of candles." 

"Tell us where you got them," said the sur- 
prised king. 

"They are made from spikes of the mullein 
weed," explained the king's page. Then he 
told his majesty about the afternoon's ad- 
venture. 

"The mullein weed shall have a new name," 
declared the king. "It shall be called the 
King's Candles." 

A few days later the king called his follow- 
ers around his throne seat and said, "A mes- 
sage has come to me declaring that the usurper 
has been driven out of my country. Tomor- 
row we'll hold a feast in the palace, and the 
table shall be lighted by 'King's Candles.' " 



THE KING'S CANDLES 105 

Every year since that far-off time when the 
reigning king holds an autumn festival, the 
banquet table is lighted with mullein spikes 
dipped in tallow, and they are called the 
"King's Candles." 

"The mullein's yellow candles burn 
Over the heads of dry, sweet fern." 



A LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN-ROD 

FRANCES WELD DANIELSON 

ONCE there were a great many weeds in a 
field. They were very ugly-looking weeds, 
and they didn't seern to be the least bit of use 
in the world. The cows would not eat them, 
the children would not pick them, and even 
the bugs did not seem to like them very well. 

"I don't see what we're here for," said one 
of the weeds. "We are not any good." 

"No good at all," growled a dozen little 
weeds, "only to catch dust" 

"Well, if that's what we're here for," cried 
a very tall weed, "then I say let's catch dust! 
I suppose somebody's got to do it. We can't 
all bear blueberries or blossom into holly- 
hocks." 

"But it isn't pleasant work at all," whined 
a tiny bit of a weed. 



From "Story-Telling Time." Used by permission of Pil- 
grims Press. 

1 06 



A LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN-ROD 107 

"No whining allowed in this field," laughed 
a funny little fat weed, with a hump in his 
stalk. "We're all going to catch dust, so let's 
see which one can catch the most. What do 
you say to a race?" 

The little fat weed spoke in such a jolly 
voice that the weeds all cheered up at once, 
and before long they were as busy as bees, and 
as happy as Johnnie-jump-ups. They worked 
so well stretching their stalks and spreading 
out their fingers that before the summer was 
half over they were able to take every bit of 
dust that flew up from the road. In the field 
beyond, where the clover grew and the cows 
fed, there was not any to be seen. 

One morning, toward the end of summer, 
the weeds were surprised to see a number of 
people standing by the fence looking at them. 
Pretty soon some children came and gazed 
at them. Then the weeds noticed that people 
driving by called each other's attention to 
them. They were much surprised at this, but 
they were still more surprised when one day 
some children climbed the fence and com- 
menced to pick them. 



io8 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"See," cried a little girl, "how all the dust 
has been changed to gold!" 

The weeds looked at each other, and, sure 
enough, they were all covered with gold-dust. 

"A fairy has done it," they whispered one to 
the other. 

But the fairies were there on the spot, and 
declared they had had nothing to do with it. 

"You did it yourselves," cried the queen 
of the fairies. "You were happy in your work, 
and a cheerful spirit always changes dust into 
gold. Didn't you know it?" 

"You're not weeds any more, you're flow- 
ers," sang the fairies. 

"Golden-rod, golden-rod!" shouted the chil- 
dren. 



GOLDEN-ROD 

Pretty, slender golden-rod, 

Like a flame of light, 
On the quiet, lonely way, 

Glows your torch so bright. 

With your glorious golden staff, 

Gay in autumn hours, 
Now you lead to wintry rest, 

All the lovely flowers. 

Cheering with a joyous face, 

All that pass you by, 
How you light the meadows round, 

With your head so high. 

ANNA E. SKINNER. 



109 



THE LITTLE WEED 

"YOU'RE nothing but a weed," said the chil- 
dren in the fall. The little weed hung its head 
in sorrow. No one seemed to think that a 
weed was of any use. 

By and by the snow came and the cold winds 
blew. There were many hungry little birds 
hunting for food. 

"Twit! Twit Twee! 
See! See! See!" 

sang a merry little bird one cold morning. 

"Here is a lovely weed full of nice brown 
seeds !" And he made a good meal from those \ 
seeds that morning. Then three other little 
birds came to share the feast. 

The little weed was so happy that she held 
her head up straight and tall again. 

"That is what I was meant for," she said. 

no 



THE LITTLE WEED 1 1 1 

"I am good for something. Four hungry 
little birds had as many seeds as they wished 
for their breakfast. Next year I'll grow as 
many seeds as I can to feed many more hun- 
gry little birds. Good-bye, little birds," she 
called out to the little feathery friends. 
"Come again next year. I'll have another din- 
ner for you." 

"Good-bye, little weed," sang the birds. 
"We have had a fine meal and we thank you 
very much. You'll see us again next year. It 
is so hard to get enough to eat during the cold 
weather, and we are grateful to you for hold- 
ing your seeds for us." 

"It's nice to find that one is of some use 
after all, isn't it?" called out the little weed to 
her neighbour in the next field. 

Selected. 



GOLDEN-ROD AND PURPLE ASTER 

FLORA J. COOKE 

ONCE upon a time a strange, wise woman lived 
in a little hut which stood on the top of a 
hill. She looked so grim and severe that peo- 
ple were afraid to go near her. It was said 
that she could change people into anything 
she wished. 

One day two little girls who lived at the foot 
of the hill were playing together. One was 
named Golden Hair and the other Blue Eyes. 
After a while they sat down on the grassy hill- 
side to rest. 

"I should like to do something to make 
everybody happy," said Blue Eyes. 

"So should I," said Golden Hair. "Let us 
ask the woman who lives on the hilltop about 
it. She is very wise and can surely tell us just 
what to do." 

112 



GOLDEN-ROD PURPLE ASTER 113 

"Oh, yes," said Blue Eyes, and away they 
started at once. 

It was a long, long walk to the top of the 
hill. Many times the little girls stopped to 
rest under the oak trees which shaded their 
pathway. 

They could find no flowers, but they made a 
basket of oak leaves and filled it with berries 
for the wise woman. 

The birds were singing in the treetops, and 
the squirrels were frisking about in the 
branches. Golden Hair and Blue Eyes 
stopped to laugh and talk with them. 

The little girls walked on and on up the 
rocky pathway. After a while the sun went 
down, the birds stopped their singing, and the 
squirrels went to bed. The evening wind was 
resting. How still and cool it was on the hill- 
side! 

Presently the moon and stars came out. 
Then the frogs and toads awoke, beetles and 
fireflies flew about and the night music 
began. 

Golden Hair and Blue Eyes were growing 
very tired, but on and on they climbed until 



1 14 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

at last they reached the hut on the hilltop 
where the strange, wise woman lived. 

"See, she is standing at the gate," said 
Golden Hair. "How stern she looks." 

The little girls clung close together, and 
when they reached the gate Golden Hair said 
bravely, "We know you are very wise and we 
came to see if you would tell us how to make 
everyone happy." 

"Please let us stay together," said timid Blue 
Eyes. 

As she opened the gate for the children, the 
wise woman was seen to smile in the moon- 
light. Golden Hair and Blue Eyes were never 
seen again at the foot of the hill. The next 
morning beautiful, waving golden-rod and 
purple asters grew all over the hillside. 

Some people say that these two bright flow- 
ers, which grow side by side, could tell the 
secret if they would, of what became of the 
two little girls on that moonlight night. 

(Adapted.) 



WILD ASTERS 

CHILD 

White and purple asters, watching by the 

brook, 
Tell me where you got your starry eyes. 

ASTERS 

Dearie, in their play the baby angels took 
Blossoms from the garden of the skies. 

Tossed them downward to us over heaven's 

wall, 
And we caught and kept them, that is all. 



SILVER-ROD 

EDITH M. THOMAS 

WHO knows not Silver-rod, the lovely and 
reverend Golden-rod beautified and sainted, 
looking moonlit and misty even in the sun- 
shine! In this soft canescent afterbloom be- 
ginning at the apex of the flower cluster and 
gradually spreading downward, the eye finds 
an agreeable relief from the recent dazzle of 
yellow splendour. I almost forget that the 
herb is not literally in bloom, that is, no longer 
ministered to by sunshine and dew. Is there 
not, perhaps, some kind of bee that loves to 
work among these plumy blossoms gathering 
a concentrated form of nectar, pulverulent 
'flower of honey? I gently stir this tufted staff, 
and away floats a little cloud of pappus, in 
which I recognize the golden- and silver-rods 
of another year, if the feathery seeds shall find 
hospitable lodgment in the earth. Two other 
plants in the wild herbarium deserve to be 

116 



SILVER-ROD 117 

ranked with my subject for grace and dignity 
with which they wear their seedy fortunes: 
iron-weed, with its pretty daisy-shaped involu- 
cres; and life-everlasting, which, having pro- 
vided its own cerements and spices, now rests 
embalmed in all the pastures; it is still pleas- 
antly odorous, and, as often as I meet it, puts 
me in mind of an old-fashioned verse which 
speaks of the "actions of the just" and their 
lasting bloom and sweetness. On a chill No- 
vember day I fancy that the air is a little 
softer in places where Silver-rod holds sway 
and that there spirits of peace and patience 

have their special haunts. 

******* 

A white butterfly met a thistle-ball in the 
airy highway. Expressions of mutual surprise 
were exchanged. 

"Hello! I thought you were one of us," said 
the butterfly. 

"And I," returned the thistle-ball, "took you 
for a white pea-blossom." 



PIMPERNEL, THE SHEPHERD'S 

CLOCK 

I'll go and look at the Pimpernel 

And see if she thinks the clouds look well. 

For if the sun shine 

And 'tis like to be fine, 

I'll go to the fair. 

So Pimpernel, what bode the clouds in the 

sky; 
If fair weather, no maiden so merry as I. 

Now the Pimpernel flower had folded up 
Her little gold star in her coral cup. 

And unto the maid 

A warning she said : 

"Though the sun seems down 

There's a gathering frown 
O'er the checkered blue of the clouded sky 
So, tarry at home! for a storm is nigh!" 



A LEGEND OF THE GENTIAN 

(Hungarian) 

MANY years ago the poor people of Hungary 
suffered from a terrible sickness which had 
afflicted them for a long time. Thousands of 
them had been stricken and many had died, 
for nothing could be found to cure them or re- 
lieve their sufferings in any way. 

At last the people appealed to their good 
King Ladislaw for help. Messenger after 
messenger was sent to beg him to bring about 
some relief. But the good king could do 
nothing, and he was obliged to send the mes- 
sengers away without help and without hope. 

One day the king sat thinking about the 
needs of his people. "What can I do for my 
people?" he asked himself over and over 
again. "I have sent them away without help 
and without hope. God alone knows what 

will help them. He will give me a sign. My 

no 



120 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

arrow shall bring me the message." And the 
good king prayed that divine guidance would 
direct an arrow shot into the air. 

His Majesty shot the arrow and watched 
where it fell. And, behold, it pierced the root 
of a gentian! 

The king then sent his servants to gather 
many roots of this plant and make from them 
a medicine for his suffering people. And the 
cure was so wonderful that from that day his 
people have called the gentian "The Herb of 
King Ladislaw." 

"Thou blossom bright with autumn dew, 
And coloured with the heaven's own blue, 
That openest when, the quiet light, 
Succeeds the keen and frosty night." 



QUEEN ASTER 
LOUISA M. ALCOTT 

FOR many seasons the Golden-rods had reigned 
over the meadow, and no one thought of choos- 
ing a king from any other family, for they 
were strong and handsome, and loved to rule. 

But one autumn something happened which 
caused a great excitement among the flowers. 
It was proposed to have a queen, and such a 
thing had never been heard of before. It be- 
gan among the Asters; for some of them grew 
outside the wall beside the road, and saw and 
heard what went on in the great world. These 
sturdy plants told the news to their relations 
inside; and so the Asters were unusually wise 
and energetic flowers, from the little white 
stars in the grass to the tall sprays tossing their 
purple plumes above the mossy wall. 

"Things are moving in the great world, and 

121 



122 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

it is time we made a change in our little one," 
said one of the roadside Asters, after a long 
talk with a wandering wind. "Matters are 
not going well in the meadow ; for the Golden- 
rods rule, and they care only for money and 
power, as their name shows. Now, we are 
descended from the stars, and are both wise 
and good, and our tribe is even larger than the 
Golden- rod tribe; so it is but fair that we 
should take our turn at governing. It will 
soon be time to choose, and I propose our 
stately cousin, Violet Aster, for queen this 
year. Whoever agrees with me, say Aye." 

Quite a shout went up from all the Asters; 
and the late Clovers and Buttercups joined in 
it, for they were honest, sensible flowers, and 
liked fair play. To their great delight the 
Pitcher-plant, or Forefathers' Cup, said "Aye" 
most decidedly, and that impressed all the 
other plants; for this fine family came over in 
the Mayflower, and was much honoured 
everywhere. 

But the proud Cardinals by the brook 
blushed with shame at the idea of a queen; 
the Fringed Gentians shut their blue eyes that 



QUEEN ASTER 123 

they might not see the bold Asters; and Cle- 
matis fainted away in the grass, she was so 
shocked. The Golden-rods laughed scornfully, 
and were much amused at the suggestion to 
put them off the throne where they had ruled 
so long. 

"Let those discontented Asters try it," they 
said. "No one will vote for that foolish Vio- 
let, and things will go on as they always have 
done; so, dear friends, don't be troubled, but 
help us elect our handsome cousin who was 
born in the palace this year." 

In the middle of the meadow stood a beau- 
tiful maple, and at its foot lay a large rock 
overgrown by a wild grapevine. All kinds of 
flowers sprung up here; and this autumn a tall 
spray of Golden-rod and a lovely violet Aster 
grew almost side by side, with only a screen of 
ferns between them. This was called the pal- 
ace; and seeing their cousin there made the 
Asters feel that their turn had come, and many 
of the other flowers agreed with them that a 
change of rulers ought to be made for the good 
of the kingdom. 

So when the day came to choose, there was 



124 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

great excitement as the wind went about col- 
lecting the votes. The Golden-rods, Cardinals, 
Gentians, Clematis, and Bitter-sweet voted for 
the Prince, as they called the handsome fellow 
by the rock. All the Asters, Buttercups, Clo- 
vers, and Pitcher-plants voted for Violet; and 
to the surprise of the meadow the Maple 
dropped a leaf, and the Rock gave a bit of 
lichen for her also. They seldom took part in 
the affairs of the flower people, the tree liv- 
ing so high above them, busy with its own 
music, and the rock being so old that it seemed 
lost in meditation most of the time; but they 
liked the idea of a queen (for one was a poet, 
the other a philosopher), and both believed in 
gentle Violet. 

Their votes won the day, and with loud re- 
joicing by her friends she was proclaimed 
queen of the meadow and welcomed to her 
throne. 

"We will never go to Court or notice her 
in any way," cried the haughty Cardinals, red 
with anger. 

"Nor we! Dreadful, unfeminine creature! 
Let us turn our backs and be grateful that the 



QUEEN ASTER 125 

brook flows between us," added the Gentians, 
shaking their fringes as if the mere idea soiled 
them. 

Clematis hid her face among the vine leaves, 
feeling that the palace was no longer a fit 
home for a delicate, high-born flower like her- 
self. All the Golden-rods raged at this dread- 
ful disappointment, and said many untrue and 
disrespectful things of Violet. The Prince 
tossed his yellow head behind the screen, and 
laughed as if he did not mind, saying care- 
lessly: 

"Let her try; she never can do it, and will 
soon be glad to give up and let me take my 
proper place." 

So the meadow was divided : one half turned 
its back on the new queen; the other half 
loved, admired, and believed in her; and all 
waited to see how the experiment would suc- 
ceed. The wise Asters helped her with ad- 
vice; the Pitcher-plant refreshed her with the 
history of the brave Puritans who loved lib- 
erty and justice, and suffered to win them; the 
honest Clovers sweetened life with their sin- 
cere friendship, and the cheerful Buttercups 



126 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

brightened her days with kindly words and 
deeds. But her best help came from the rock 
and the tree, for when she needed strength 
she leaned her delicate head against the rough 
breast of the rock, and courage seemed to come 
to her from the wise old stone that had borne 
the storms of a hundred years; when her heart 
was heavy with care or wounded by unkind- 
ness, she looked up to the beautiful tree, al- 
ways full of soft music, always pointing 
heavenward, and was comforted by these 
glimpses of a world above her. 

The first thing she did was to banish the evil 
snakes from her kingdom; for they lured the 
innocent birds to death, and filled many a 
happy nest with grief. 

The next task was to stop the red and black 
ants from constantly fighting; for they were 
always at war, to the great dismay of more 
peaceful insects. She bade each tribe keep in 
its own country, and if any dispute came up, to 
bring it to her, and she would 'decide it fairly. 
This was a hard task; for the ants loved to 
fight, and would go on struggling after their 
bodies were separated from their heads, so 



QUEEN ASTER 127 

fierce were they. But she made them friends 
at last, and every one was glad. 

Another reform was to purify the news that 
came to the meadow. The wind was tele- 
graph-messenger; but the birds were report- 
ers, and some of them very bad ones. The 
larks brought tidings from the clouds, and 
were always welcome; the thrushes from the 
wood, and all loved to hear their pretty ro- 
mances; the robins had domestic news, and 
the lively wrens bits of gossip and witty jokes 
to relate. But the magpies made such mis- 
chief with their ill-natured tattle and evil 
tales, and the crows criticised and condemned 
every one who did not believe and do just as 
they did; so the magpies were forbidden to 
go gossiping about the meadow, and the 
gloomy black crows were ordered off the fence 
where they liked to sit cawing dismally for 
hours at a time. 

Every one felt safe and comfortable when 
this was done, except the Cardinals, who liked 
to hear their splendid dresses and fine feasts 
talked about, and the Golden-rods, who were 
so used to living in public that they missed the 



128 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

excitement, as well as the scandal of the mag- 
pies and the political and religious arguments 
and quarrels of the crows. 

A hospital for sick and homeless creatures 
was opened under the big burdock leaves; and 
there several belated butterflies were tucked 
up in their silken hammocks to sleep till 
spring, a sad lady-bug, who had lost all her 
children, found comfort in her loneliness, and 
many crippled ants sat talking over their bat- 
tles, like old soldiers, in the sunshine. 

It took a long time to do all this, and it was 
a hard task, for the rich and powerful flowers 
gave no help. But the Asters worked bravely, 
so did the Clovers and Buttercups and the 
Pitcher-plant kept open house with the old- 
fashioned hospitality one so seldom sees now- 
a-days. Everything seemed to prosper, and 
the meadow grew more beautiful day by day. 
Safe from their enemies, the snakes, birds 
came to build in all the trees and bushes, sing- 
ing their gratitude so sweetly that there was al- 
ways music in the air. Sunshine and shower 
seemed to love to freshen the thirsty flowers 
and keep the grass green, till every plant grew 



QUEEN ASTER 129 

strong and fair, and passers-by stopped to 
look, saying with a smile : 

"What a pretty little spot this is!" 

The wind carried tidings of these things to 
other colonies, and brought back messages of 
praise and good-will from other rulers, glad 
to know the experiment worked so well. 

This made a deep impression on the Golden- 
rods and their friends, for they could not deny 
that Violet had succeeded better than any one 
dared to hope; and the proud flowers began to 
see that they would have to give in, own they 
were wrong, and become loyal subjects of this 
wise and gentle queen. 

"We shall have to go to Court if ambassa- 
dors keep coming with such gifts and honours 
to Her Majesty; for they wonder not to see us 
there, and will tell that we are sulking at home 
instead of shining as <we only can," said the 
Cardinals, longing to display their red velvet 
robes at the feasts which Violet was obliged 
to give in the palace when kings came to visit 
her. 

"Our time will soon be over, and I'm afraid 
we must humble ourselves or lose all the gai- 



130 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

ety of the season. It is hard to see the good 
old ways changed ; but if they must be, we can 
only gracefully submit," answered the Gen- 
tians, smoothing their delicate blue fringes, 
eager to be again the belles of the ball. 

Clematis astonished every one by suddenly 
beginning to climb the maple-tree and shake 
her silvery tassels like a canopy over the 
Queen's head. 

"I cannot live so near her and not begin to 
grow. Since I must cling to something, I 
choose the noblest I can find, and look up, 
not down, forevermore," she said; for like 
many weak and timid creatures, she was eas- 
ily guided, and it was well for her that Vio- 
let's example had been a brave one. 

Prince Golden-rod had found it impossible 
to turn his back entirely upon Her Majesty, 
for he was a gentleman with a really noble 
heart under his yellow cloak; so he was among 
the first to see, admire, and love the modest, 
faithful flower who grew so near him. He 
could not help hearing her words of comfort 
or reproof to those who came to her for ad- 
vice. He saw the daily acts of chanty which 



QUEEN ASTER 131 

no one else discovered; he knew how many 
trials came to her, and how bravely she bore 
them. 

"She had done more than ever we did to 
make the kingdom beautiful and safe and 
happy, and I'll be the first to own it, to thank 
her and offer my allegiance," he said to him- 
self, and waited for a chance. 

One night when the September moon was 
shining over the meadow, and the air was 
balmy with the last breath of summer, the 
Prince ventured to serenade the Queen on his 
wind-harp. He knew she was awake; for he 
had peeped through the ferns and seen her 
looking at the stars with her violet eyes full 
of dew, as if something troubled her. So he 
sang his sweetest song, and Her Majesty 
leaned nearer to hear it; for she much longed 
to be friends with the gallant Prince, because 
both were born in the palace and grew up to- 
gether very happily till coronation time came. 

As he ended she sighed, wondering how 
long it would be before he told her what she 
knew was in his heart. 

Golden-rod heard the soft sigh, and forget- 



132 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

ting his pride, he pushed away the screen, and 
whispered, while his face shone and his voice 
showed how much he felt, 

"What troubles you, sweet neighbour? 
Forget and forgive my unkindness, and let me 
help you if I can, I dare not say as Prince 
Consort, though I love you dearly; but as a 
friend and faithful subject, for I confess that 
you are fitter to rule than I." 

As he spoke the leaves that hid Violet's 
golden heart opened wide and let him see how 
glad she was, as she bent her stately head and 
answered softly, 

"There is room upon the throne for two: 
share it with me as King, and let us rule to- 
gether." 

.What the Prince answered only the moon 
knows; but when morning came all the 
meadow was surprised and rejoiced to see the 
gold and purple flowers standing side by side, 
while the maple showered its rosy leaves over 
them, and the old rock waved his crown of 
vine-leaves as he said : 

"This is as it should be; love and strength 



QUEEN ASTER 133 

going hand in hand, and justice making the 
earth glad." 

The lands are lit 

With all the autumn blaze of golden-rod, 
And everywhere the purple asters nod 
And bend and wave and flit. 

HELEN HUNT JACKSON. 



THE WEEDS 

CARL EWALD 

IT was a beautiful, fruitful season. Rain and 
sunshine came by turns just as it was best for 
the corn. As soon as ever the farmer began 
to think that things were rather dry, you might 
depend upon it that next day it would rain. 
And when he thought that he had had rain 
enough, the clouds broke at once, just as if 
they were under his command. 

So the farmer was in good humour, and he 
did not grumble as he usually does. He 
looked pleased and cheerful as he walked over 
the field with his two boys. 

"It will be a splendid harvest this year," he 
said. "I shall have my barns full, and shall 
make a pretty penny. And then Jack and Will 
shall have some new trousers, and I'll let them 

come with me to market." 

134 



THE WEEDS 135 

"If you don't cut me soon, farmer, I shall 
sprawl on the ground," said the rye, and she 
bowed her heavy ear quite down towards the 
earth. 

The farmer could not hear her talking, but 
he could see what was in her mind, and so 
he went home to fetch his scythe. 

"It is a good thing to be in the service of 
man," said the rye. "I can be quite sure that 
all my grain will be cared for. Most of it 
will go to the mill: not that that proceeding 
is so very enjoyable, but it will be made into 
beautiful new bread, and one must put up 
with something for the sake of honour. The 
rest the farmer will save, and sow next year 
in his field." 

At the side of the field, along the hedge, and 
the bank above the ditch, stood the weeds. 
There were dense clumps of them thistle and 
burdock, poppy and harebell, and dandelion ; 
and all their heads were full of seed. It had 
been a fruitful year for them also, for the sun 
shines and the rain falls just as much on the 
poor weed as on the rich corn. 

"No one comes and mows us down and car- 



136 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

ries us to a barn," said the dandelion, and he 
shook his head, but very cautiously, so that the 
seeds should not fall before their time. "But 
what will become of all our children? 5 ' 

"It gives me a headache to think of it," said 
the poppy. "Here I stand with hundreds and 
hundreds of seeds in my head, and I haven't 
the faintest idea where I shall drop them." 

"Let us ask the rye to advise us," answered 
the burdock. 

And so they asked the rye what they should 
do. 

"When one is well off, one had better not 
meddle with other people's business," an- 
swered the rye. "I will give you only one 
piece of advice: take care you don't throw 
your stupid seed on to the field, for then you 
will have to settle accounts with me! 9 

This advice did not help the wild flowers 
at all, and the whole day they stood pondering 
what they should do. When the sun set they 
shut up their petals and went to sleep ; but the 
whole night through they were dreaming 
about their seed, and next morning they had 
found a plan. 



THE WEEDS 137 

The poppy was the first to wake. She cau- 
tiously opened some little trap-doors at the 
top of her head, so that the sun could shine 
right in on the seeds. Then she called to the 
morning breeze, who was running and play- 
ing along the hedge. 

"Little breeze," she said, in friendly tones, 
"will you do me a service?" 

"Yes, indeed," said the breeze. "I shall be 
glad to have something to do." 

"It is the merest trifle," said the poppy. 
"All I want of you is to give a good shake to 
my stalk, so that my seeds may fly out of the 
trap-doors." 

"All right," said the breeze. 

And the seeds flew out in all directions. 
The stalk snapped, it is true; but the poppy 
did not mind about that 

"Good-bye," said the breeze, and would 
have run on farther. 

"Wait a moment," said the poppy. "Prom- 
ise me first that you will not tell the others, 
else they might get hold of the same idea, 
and then there would be less room for my 
seeds." 



I 3 8 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"I am mute as the grave," answered the 
breeze, running off. 

"Ho ! ho !" said the harebell "Haven't you 
time to do me a little, tiny service?" 

"Well," said the breeze, "what is it?" 

"I merely wanted to ask you to give me a 
little shake," said the harebell. "I have 
opened some trap-doors in my head, and I 
should like to have my seed sent a good way 
off into the world. But you mustn't tell the 
others, or else they might think of doing the 
same thing." 

"Oh! of course not," said the breeze, laugh- 
ing. "I shall be as dumb as a stone wall." 
And then she gave the flower a good shake and 
went on her way. 

"Little breeze, little breeze," called the dan- 
delion, "whither away so fast?" 

"Is there something the matter with you 
too?" asked the breeze. 

"Nothing at all," answered the dandelion. 
"Only I should like a few words with you." 

"Be quick then," said the breeze, "for I am 
thinking seriously of lying down and having 
a rest." 



THE WEEDS 139 

"You cannot help seeing," said the dande- 
lion, "what trouble we are in this year to get 
all our seeds put out in the world; for, of 
course, one wishes to do what one can for one's 
children. What is to happen to the harebell 
and the poppy and the poor burdock I really 
don't know. But the thistle and I have put 
our heads together, and we have hit on a plan. 
Only we must have you to help us." 

"That makes four of them," thought the 
breeze, and she could not help laughing out 
loud. 

"What are you laughing at?" asked the 
dandelion. "I saw you whispering just now 
to the harebell and poppy; but if you breathe 
a word to them, I won't tell you anything." 

"Why, of course not," said the breeze. "I 
am mute as a fish. What is it you want?" 

"We have set up a pretty little umbrella on 
the top of our seeds. It is the sweetest little 
plaything imaginable. If you will only blow 
a little on me, the seeds will fly into the air 
and fall down wherever you please. Will you 
r doso?" 

"Certainly," said the breeze. 



i 4 o THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

And hush! it went over the thistle and the 
dandelion and carried all the seeds with it into 
the cornfield. 

The burdock still stood and pondered. Its 
head was rather thick, and that was why it 
waited so long. But in the evening a hare 
leapt over the hedge. 

"Hide me! Save me!" he cried. "The 
farmer's dog Trusty is after me." 

"You can creep behind the hedge," said the 
burdock, "then I will hide you." 

"You don't look able to do that," said the 
hare, "but in time of need one must help one- 
self as one can." And so he got in safely be- 
hind the hedge. 

"Now you may repay me by taking some of 
my seeds with you over into the cornfield," 
said the burdock; and it broke off some of its 
many heads and fixed them on the hare. 

A little later Trusty came trotting up to the 
hedge. 

"Here's the dog," whispered the burdock, 
and with one spring the hare leapt over the 
hedge and into the rye. 

"Haven't you seen the hare, burdock?" 



THE WEEDS 141 

asked Trusty. "I see I have grown too old to 
go hunting. I am quite blind in one eye, and 
I have completely lost my scent." 

"Yes, I have seen him," answered the bur- 
dock; "and if you will do me a service, I will 
show you where he is." 

Trusty agreed, and the burdock fastened 
some heads on his back, and said to him: 

"If you will only rub yourself against the 
stile there in the cornfield, my seeds will fall 
off. But you must not look for the hare there, 
for a little while ago I saw him run into the 
wood." Trusty dropped the burrs on the field 
and trotted to the wood. 

"Well, I've sent my seeds out in the world 
all right," said the burdock, laughing as if 
much pleased with itself; "but it is impossible 
to say what will become of the thistle and the 
dandelion and the harebell and the poppy." 

Spring had come round once more, and the 
rye stood high already. 

"We are pretty well off on the whole," said 
the rye plants. "Here we stand in a great 
company, and not one of us but belongs to our 
own noble family. And we don't get in each 



142 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

other's way in the very least. It is a grand 
thing to be in the service of man." 

But one fine day a crowd of little poppies, 
and thistles and dandelions, and burdocks and 
harebells poked up their heads above ground, 
all amongst the flourishing rye. 

"What does this mean?" asked the rye. 
"Where in the world are you sprung from?" 

And the poppy looked at the harebell and 
asked : "Where did you come from?" 

And the thistle looked at the burdock and 
asked: "Where in the world have you come 
from?" 

They were all equally astonished, and it 
was an hour before they had explained. But 
the rye was the angriest, and when she had 
heard all about Trusty and the hare and the 
breeze she grew quite wild. 

"Don't be in such a passion, you green rye," 
said the breeze, who had been lying behind 
the hedge and hearing everything. "I ask no 
one's permission, but do as I like; and now 
I'm going to make you bow to me." 

Then she passed over the young rye, and the 
thin blades swayed backwards and forwards. 



THE WEEDS 143 

"You see," she said, "the farmer attends to 
his rye, because that is his business. But the 
rain and the sun and I we attend to all of 
you without respect of persons. To our eyes 
the poor weed is just as pretty as the rich 
corn." (Abridged.) 



AUTUMN FIRES 

In the other gardens 

And all up the vale 
From the autumn bonfires 

See the smoke trail ! 

Pleasant summer over 

And all the summer flowers; 
The red fire blazes, 

The gray smoke towers. 

Sing a song of seasons! 

Something bright in all ! 
Flowers in the summer! 

Fires in the fall ! 

ROBERT Louis STEVENSON*. 



144 



AMONG THE TREES 



TO AN AUTUMN LEAF 

Wee shallop of shimmering gold ! 

Slip down from your ways in the brandies 
Some fairy will loosen your hold 

Wee shallop of shimmering gold. 
Spill dew on your bows and unfold 

Silk sails for the fairest of launches! 
Wee shallop of shimmering gold; 

Slip down from your ways in the branches. 



146 



WHY THE AUTUMN LEAVES ARE 

RED 

EMELYN NEWCOMB PARTRIDGE 

LONG, long ago no one but animals lived upon 
the earth and sometimes they would hold great 
Councils. The Bear would be there, the 
Bear, with his sharp claws, and his shiny coat, 
and his big, big growl; and the Deer, who was 
so proud of his antlers, for they came out of 
his head like trees; and all the animals, and 
all the birds would be present at the great 
Council. Little Turtle would go there, too. 
She was so small that she did not like to speak 
to anyone. But, she often wished : 

"Oh, if only I could do some good deed! 
What could such a little creature as I do? 
Anyway," she thought, "I'll be on the watch, 
and it may be that some time there will be a 
chance for me to do something for my people." 

Little Turtle never forgot about that good 

147 



148 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

deed she had planned to perform. One day 
the opportunity came to her. She was at the 
Council, and the animals were saying: 

"It is so dark here, we have only the Snow- 
light to see by. It is gloomy, too. Couldn't 
we make a light and place it up in Skyland?" 
they asked. 

Little Turtle said : "Please let me go up to 
Skyland? I am sure that I can make a light 
shine up there." 

They said that she might go, and they called 
Dark Cloud to carry Little Turtle there. 
Dark Cloud came. 

Little Turtle saw that Thunder and Light- 
ning were in Dark Cloud; and when she 
reached Skyland, she made the Sun from 
Lightning, and placed him in the Sky. 

The Sun could not move, because he had no 
life, and all the world underneath was too hot 
to live upon. 

"What shall we do?" the animals asked one 
another. Someone said : 

"We must give the Sun life and spirit, and 
then he will move about in the sky." 

So they gave him life and spirit, and he 



WHY AUTUMN LEAVES ARE RED 149 

moved about in the sky. Mud Turtle dug a 
hole through the earth for the Sun to travel 
through. Little Turtle made a wife for him 
out of some of the Lightning from Dark 
Cloud. She was the Moon. Their little chil- 
dren were the stars that played all over Sky- 
land. 

All this time, Little Turtle was taking care 
of Skyland. The animals below called her, 
She Who Takes Care of Skyland. And she 
was very happy, because she was doing her 
good deed. 

Some of the animals became jealous of Lit- 
tle Turtle, especially the Deer, who was so 
proud of his antlers. One day, Deer said to 
Rainbow: 

"Rainbow, please take me up to Skyland 
where Little Turtle lives." 

Rainbow did not know whether it would 
be quite right to take Deer up to Little Tur- 
tle's house, but he said : 

"In the winter, when I rest upon the big 
mountain by the lake, then I will take you." 

This made the Deer glad. He did not tell 
anyone about the promise of Rainbow. All 



150 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

winter long, he waited and watched near the 
big mountain for Rainbow to come; but Rain- 
bow did not come to him. In the spring, one 
day, Deer saw Rainbow beside the lake. 

"Rainbow," he asked, "why did you not 
keep your promise to me?" Rainbow made 
him another promise. 

"Come to me by the lake, when you see me 
in the thick fog," he said. 

The Deer kept this promise a secret, too; 
because he hoped to go to Skyland alone. 
Day after day, he waited beside the lake. One 
day, when the thick fog was rising from the 
lake, Deer saw the beautiful Rainbow. 

Rainbow made an arch from the lake to the 
big mountain. Then a shining light fell about 
the Deer, and he saw a straight path shining 
with all the colours of the Rainbow. It led 
through a great forest. 

"Follow the beautiful path through the 
great forest," Rainbow said. 

The Deer entered the shining pathway, and 
it led him straight to the house of Little Tur- 
tle in Skyland. And the Deer went about 
Skyland everywhere. 



WHY AUTUMN LEAVES ARE RED 151 

When the great Council met, Deer was not 
there. "The Deer is not come to the Coun- 
cil, where is the Deer?" they asked. 

Hawk flew about the air everywhere, and 
could not find Deer in the air. Wolf searched 
the deep woods, and could not find Deer in the 
forests. 

When Dark Cloud brought Little Turtle 
to the Council, Little Turtle told them how 
Rainbow had made a path for Deer to climb 
to Skyland. "There it is now," said Little 
Turtle. 

The animals looked over the lake, and they 
saw, there, the beautiful pathway. They had 
never seen it before. 

"Why did not Deer wait for us? All of us 
should have gone to Skyland together," they 
said. 

Now, Brown Bear determined to follow 
that pathway the very next time he should see 
it. 

One day when he was all alone, near the 
lake, he saw the shining path that led through 
the great forest. Soon he found himself in Sky- 
land. The first person he met was the Deer. 



1 52 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Why did you leave us? Why did you go 
to the land of Little Turtle without us? Why 
did you not wait for us?" he asked the Deer. 

The Deer shook his antlers angrily. "What 
right have you to question me? No one but 
the Wolf may question why I came. I will 
kill you for your impertinence." 

The Deer arched his neck; he poised his 
antlered head; his eyes blazed with fury. 

The Bear was not afraid. He stood up ; his 
claws were sharp and strong; his hoarse growls 
sounded all over Skyland. 

The battle of the Deer and the Bear shook 
Skyland. The animals looked up from the 
earth. 

"Who will go? Who will go to Skyland 
and forbid the Deer to fight?" 

"I will go," said the Wolf. "I can run 
faster than anyone." So Wolf ran along the 
shining pathway, and in a little while he had 
reached the place of the battle. Wolf made 
Deer stop fighting. Deer's antlers were cov- 
ered with blood, and when he shook them, 
great drops fell down, down through the air, 
and splashed against all the leaves of the for- 



WHY AUTUMN LEAVES ARE RED 153 

est. And the leaves became a beautiful red. 
So, in the autumn, when you see the leaves 
turning red, you may know that it is because 
in the long ago, the Deer and the Bear fought 
a great battle in Skyland, in the land of Little 
Turtle who was doing her good deed. 






THE ANXIOUS LEAF 
HENRY WARD BEECHER 

ONCE upon a time a little leaf was heard to 
sigh and cry, as leaves often do when a gentle 
wind is about. And the twig said, "What is 
the matter, little leaf?" And the leaf said, 
"The wind just told me that one day it would 
pull me off and throw me down to lie on the 
ground!" The twig told it to the branch on 
which it grew, and the branch told it to the 
tree. And when the tree heard it, it rustled 
all over, and sent back word to the leaf, "Do 
not be afraid; hold on tightly, and you shall 
not go till you want to." And so the leaf 
stopped sighing, but went on nestling and sing- 
ing. Every time the tree shook itself and 
stirred up all its leaves, the branches shook 
themselves, and the little twig shook itself, and 
the little leaf danced up and down merrily, as 
if nothing could ever pull it off. And so it 

154 



THE ANXIOUS LEAF 155 

grew all summer long until October. And 
when the bright days of autumn came, the lit- 
tle leaf saw all the leaves around becoming 
very beautiful. Some were yellow, and some 
scarlet, and some striped with both colours. 
Then it asked the tree what it meant. And the 
tree said, "All these leaves are getting ready 
to fly away, and they have put on these beau- 
tiful colours because of joy." Then the little 
leaf began to want to go, and grew very beau- 
tiful in thinking of it, and when it was very 
gay in colour, it saw that the branches of the 
tree had no colour in them, and so the leaf 
said, "O branches, why are you lead colour and 
we golden?" "We must keep on our work- 
clothes, for our life is not done; but your 
clothes are for holiday, because your tasks are 
over." Just then a little pufT of wind came, 
and the leaf let go without thinking of it, and 
the wind took it up, and turned it over and 
over, and whirled it like a spark of fire in the 
air, and then it fell gently down under the 
fence among hundreds of other leaves, and 
began to dream a dream so beautiful that 
perhaps it will last forever. 



HOW THE CHESTNUT BURRS 

BECAME 

ENREST THOMPSON SETON 

IN the woods of Poconic there once roamed a 
very discontented Porcupine. He was for- 
ever fretting, He complained that every- 
thing was wrong, till it was perfectly scan- 
dalous and the Great Spirit, getting tired of 
his grumbling, said : 

"You and the world I have made don't seem 
to fit. One or the other must be w r rong. It is 
easier to change you. You don't like the trees, 
you are unhappy on the ground, and think 
everything is upside down, so I'll turn you 
inside out and put you in the water. 

This was the origin of the Shad. 

After Manitou had turned the old Porcu- 
pine into a Shad the young ones missed their 
mother and crawled up into a high tree to 

look for her coming. Manitou happened to 

156 



THE CHESTNUT BURRS 157 

pass that way and they all chattered their 
teeth at him, thinking themselves safe. They 
were not wicked, only ill-trained, some of 
them, indeed, were at heart quite good, but, oh, 
so ill-trained, and they chattered and groaned 
as Manitou came nearer. Remembering then 
that he had taken their mother from them, he 
said, "You look very well up there, you little 
Porkys, so you had better stay there for al- 
ways, and be part of the tree." 

This was the origin of the chestnut burrs. 
They hang like a lot of little porcupines on the 
tree-crotches. They are spiny, and danger- 
ous, utterly without manners and yet most of 
them have a good little heart inside. 



THE MERRY WIND 

The merry wind came racing 

Adown the hills one day, 
In gleeful frolic chasing 

The rustling leaves away. 
In clouds of red and yellow, 

He whirled the leaves along, 
And then the jolly fellow 

He sang a cheery song. 

The merry wind was weary 

At last of fun and play ; 
His voice grew faint and eerie, 

And softly died away. 
Far off a crow was calling 

And in the mellow sun 
The painted leaves kept falling 

And fading, one by one. 

MARY MAPES DODGE. 



158 



AUTUMN AMONG THE BIRDS 

[Enter a little Snipe, crying] : 

Peet-weet ! Peet-weet ! 
I've such cold feet, 
And nothing to eat! 
The creek is so high 
That I can't keep dry 
Except when I fly! 
Peet-weet! 

[A Kildeer] : 

Kildee! Kildee! Kildee! 
This is no place for me! 

The southland I must seek 

Kildee! 

[A Bobolink] : 

Link-a-link ! Link-a-link ! 
My diet has made me weak; 

The fields of rice must be so nice. 

159 



160 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

[To the Kildeer] : 



111 go with you, I think- 
Link-a-link! 



[A Red-Shouldered Blackbird] : 

Bobaree! Bobaree! 
A frost you'll see- 



w 

You'll see to your sorrow, 
If you wait until to-morrow- 
Bobaree! 

[A Chipping-Bird] : 



Chip-chip! Chip-chip! Chip-chip! 
I'll give November the slip! 

[A House-Wren] : 

Sh! Sh! Sh! 
Every one loves the Wren! 
Wait, and just once again 
I'll go, and, as still as a mouse, 
Peep into the little house 
They built for my use alone, 
With a door and a porch like their own! 

Sh! 



AUTUMN AMONG THE BIRDS 161 

[A Maryland Yellow-Throat Interrupting]: 

Witches here! Witches here! 
And no wonder so late in the year! 

[A Flock of Wild Geese Flying Over] : 

On! On! On! 

Why should we longer stay? 
On ! Ere the peep of day 
We should be leagues away, 
Quite out of sight of land ! 
Our old gray Commodore 
Will guide our gallant band 
With the daintiest food in store! 
To a pleasant southern shore, 
On! On! On! 

[A Flock of Swallows Rising] : 

Zip! Zip! You may count on the Swallow! 

We hear, and anear we will be; 
The rest, if they like, may follow 

O'er land and o'er sea. 

[A Bluebird to Her Mate] : 

Weary! Oh, weary! Oh, weary! 
It's a long, long, long way, dearie! 



162 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

[A Robin] : 

Quip ! Quip ! Cheer up ! Cheer up ! 
But I think we ought first to sup ; 
With such a long journey ahead, 

Pilgrims should be well fed 

Quip! Quip! 

[A Highlander Shouts from the Top of a 

Dead Tree] : 

A-wick-wick! wick-wick! wick- wick! wick! 

Yare-op ! 

If all this senseless chatter you would stop, 
And listen, an announcement I would make: 
Old Father Crane will soon be here to take 
All you small folks upon his back Wick- 
wick! 

Chorus of Small Birds [Chippy, Wren, Yel- 
low-bird, Pewee, Kinglet, etc.] : 

Peet-weet! Zit! Zit! Cheeree! Ittee! Be 
Quick! 

EDITH M. THOMAS. 



THE KIND OLD OAK 

IT was almost time for winter to come. The 
little birds had all gone far away, for they 
were afraid of the cold. There was no green 
grass in the fields, and there were no pretty 
flowers in the gardens. Many of the trees had 
dropped all their leaves. Cold winter, with its 
snow and ice, was coming. 

At the foot of an old oak tree, some sweet 
little violets were still in blossom. "Dear old 
oak," said they, "winter is coming: we are 
afraid that we shall die of the cold." 

"Do not be afraid, little ones," said the oak, 
"close your yellow eyes in sleep, and trust to 
me. You have made me glad many a time 
with your sweetness. Now I will take care 
that the winter shall do you no harm." 

So the violets closed their pretty eyes and 
went to sleep ; they knew that they could trust 

the kind old oak. And the great tree softly 

163 



164 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

dropped red leaf after red leaf upon them 
until they were all covered over. 

The cold winter came, with its snow and ice, 
but it could not harm the little violets. Safe 
under the friendly leaves of the old oak they 
slept, and dreamed happy dreams until the 
warm rains of spring came and waked them 
again. 

"No more the summer floweret charms, 

The leaves will soon be sere, 
And autumn folds his jeweled arms 

Around the dying year." 



THE TPJEE 

The tree's early leaf-buds were bursting their 

brown ; 
"Shall I take them away?'* said the Frost, 

sweeping down. 
"No, dear, leave them alone 
Till the blossoms have grown," 
Prayed the tree, while it trembled from root- 
let to crown. 

The tree bore its blossoms, and all the birds 

sung: 
"Shall I take them away?" said the Wind, as 

it swung. 

"No, dear, leave them alone 
Till berries here have grown," 
Said the tree, while the leaflets all quivering 

hung. 

The tree bore its fruit in the midsummer 

glow: 
Said the girl, "May I gather thy berries or 

no?" 

"Yes, dear, all thou canst see ; 
Take them; all are for thee," 
Said the tree, while it bent its laden boughs 

low. 

BjORNSTJERNE BjORNSOX. 
165' 



COMING AND GOING 

HENRY WARD BEECHER 

THERE came to our fields a pair of birds that 
had never built a nest nor seen a winter. How 
beautiful was everything! The fields were 
full of flowers, and the grass was growing tall, 
and the bees were humming everywhere. 
Then one of the birds began singing, and the 
other bird said, "Who told you to sing?" And 
he answered, "The flowers told me, and the 
bees told me, and the winds and leaves told me, 
and the blue sky told me, and you told me to 
sing." Then his mate answered, "When did 
I tell you to sing?" And he said, "Every time 
you brought in tender grass for the nest, and 
every time your soft wings fluttered off again 
for hair and feathers to line the nest." Then 
his mate said, "What are you singing about?" 
And he answered, "I am singing about every- 

166 



COMING AND GOING 167 

thing and nothing. It is because I am so 
happy that I sing." 

By and by five little speckled eggs were in 
the nest, and his mate said, "Is there anything 
in all the world as pretty as my eggs?" Then 
they both looked down on some people that 
were passing by and pitied them because they 
were not birds. 

In a week or two, one day, when the father- 
bird came home, the mother-bird said, "Oh, 
what do you think has happened?" "What?" 
"One of my eggs has been peeping and mov- 
ing!" Pretty soon another egg moved under 
her feathers, and then another and another, till 
five little birds were hatched! Now the 
father-bird sang louder and louder than ever. 
The mother-bird, too, wanted to sing, but she 
had no time, and so she turned her song into 
work. So hungry were these little birds that 
it kept both parents busy feeding them. Away 
each one flew. The moment the little birds 
heard their wings fluttering among the leaves, 
five yellow mouths flew open wide, so that 
nothing could be seen but five yellow 
mouths ! 



i68 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Can anybody be happier?" said the father- 
bird to the mother-bird. "We will live in this 
tree always, for there is no sorrow here. It is 
a tree that always bears joy." 

Soon the little birds were big enough to fly, 
and great was their parents 7 joy to see them 
leave the nest and sit crumpled up upon the 
branches. There was then a great time! The 
two old birds talking and chatting to make 
the young ones go alone ! In a little time they 
had learned to use their wings, and they flew 
away and away, and found their own food, and 
built their own nests, and sang their own songs 
of joy. 

Then the old birds sat silent and looked at 
each other, until the mother-bird said, "Why 
don't you sing?" And he answered, "I can't 
sing I can only think and think." "What are 
you thinking of?" "I am thinking how every- 
thing changes : the leaves are falling off from 
this tree, and soon there will be no roof over 
our heads ; the flowers are all going; last night 
there was a frost; almost all the birds are flown 
away. Something calls me, and I feel as if I 
would like to fly far away." 



COMING AND GOING 169 

"Let us fly away together!" 

Then they rose silently, and, lifting them- 
selves far up in the air, they looked to the 
north: far away they saw the snow coming. 
They looked to the south : there they saw flow- 
ers and green leaves! All day they flew; and 
all night they flew and flew, till they found a 
land where there was no winter where flow- 
ers always blossom, and birds always sing. 



A LEGEND OF THE WILLOW TREE 

(Japanese Legend Retold) 

ONCE upon a time a humble willow tree with 
gnarled and twisted branches grew near a tall 
and stately companion called the bamboo tree. 
Many people who passed by stopped to admire 
the shapely bamboo, but no one seemed to no- 
tice the old willow tree. 

One morning when the sun shone brightly 
after a soft rain a timid little plant with a 
delicate stem sprang up between the two trees, 
and looked pleadingly toward 1 the straight, 
strong trunk of the bamboo. But the bamboo 
tossed her plumy foliage and said haughtily, 
"Do not look to me for help. I shall not let 
you cling around my trunk." 

"Let me take hold of you until I grow a lit- 
tle stronger," begged the little plant. But the 
bamboo drew away and said, "Keep away. I 
can not allow you to cling to my beautiful 

branches." 

170 



LEGEND OF THE WILLOW TREE 171 

Then the kind old willow tree whispered 
through her leaves, "Do not be discouraged, 
little one. The sun is shining, and the soft 
rain will come to refresh you. Come to me if 
you like, and grip your little green fingers 
into my bark. Do not be afraid. In the shade 
of my branches you shall be protected. 
Come." 

The tiny plant still looked longingly to- 
ward the handsome bamboo. But at last she 
crept over the grass to the old willow, and be- 
gan to twine around the sheltering branches. 
Up, up, the slender vine climbed to the very 
top of the tree. There it tossed out so many 
lovely green shoots that the people who passed 
stopped to enjoy its beauty. And when the 
early fall days came large buds appeared on 
the vine. 

The bamboo looked at the swelling buds 
and said, "I wonder what those ugly knobs 
on the vine mean. Perhaps she has brought 
some disease which may affect all the trees of 
the country." 

The willow made no answer to the bamboo, 
but in her kindly way she whispered to the 



172 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

vine, "Do not feel hurt, I know what the swell- 
ing buds mean." 

There was a gentle rain at night, and in the 
morning the sun shone radiantly in a clear 
sky. The green buds which covered the vine 
burst forth into beautiful, sweet-scented blos- 
soms. From crown to foot the old willow 
tree stood bedecked with glorious colour. 
The owner of the land called his friends 
to see the wonder. They looked in 
amazement at the richly coloured blossoms. 
Then the master called his labourers, and 
told them to clear a space about the willow 
tree. 

"Cut down the bamboo tree that we may see 
the beauty of the vine." 

"It is a very fine bamboo tree, master," said 
the head servant. 

"Yes, it is, indeed," declared the master, 
"but there are many other bamboo trees 
equally fine, whereas no one has ever seen a 
vine with such a wealth of lovely blossoms. 

So the labourers cut down the haughty bam- 
boo tree, and left the willow and the flower- 
ing vine to be admired by many, many people. 



AUTUMN FASHIONS 

The Maple owned that she was tired of always 

wearing green, 
She knew that she had grown, of late, too 

shabby to be seen! 

The Oak and Beech and Chestnut then de- 
plored their shabbiness, 

And all, except the Hemlock sad, were wild 
to change their dress. 

"For fashion-plate we'll take the flowers," the 

rustling Maple said, 
"And like the Tulip I'll be clothed in splendid 

gold and red!" 

"The cheerful Sunflower suits me best," the 

lightsome Beech replied; 
"The Marigold my choice shall be," the 

Chestnut spoke with pride. 

The sturdy Oak took time to think "I hate 

such glaring hues; 
The Gillyflower, so dark and rich, I for my 

model choose." 



173 



174 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

So every tree in all the grove, except the Hem- 
lock sad, 

According to its wish ere long in brilliant dress 
was clad. 

And here they stayed through all the soft and 

bright October days; 
They wished to be like flowers indeed, they 

look like huge bouquets ! 

EDITH M. THOMAS. 



POMONA'S BEST GIFT 

Here stands a good old apple tree 

Stand fast at root, 

Bear well, at top ; 

Every little twig 

Bear an apple big; 

Every little bough 

Bear an apple now; 

Hats full, caps full; 

Threescore sacks full! 

Hullo, boys, hullo! 

Old English Song. 



175 



POMONA 

IN the far-off days, when the children of 
sunny Italy saw the hillside vineyards rich 
with purple grapes, and the branches of the 
orchards bending with the weight of luscious 
fruit, they clapped their hands and cried glee- 
fully, "See Pomona's Gifts." They offered 
grateful thanks to the wood nymph whose 
thoughtful care brought the precious fruit to 
a bountiful harvest. 

Carrying a curved knife in her right hand, 
the faithful Pomona glided swiftly up the hill- 
side, and primed the low-bending vines of all 
rank shoots. By cutting away all withered 
branches, she kept her orchards green and 
trim, and thus helped the trees to bring forth 
richest fruit. 

So happy was this nymph in her work that 
she gave no attention to the numerous suitors 
who hoped to win her. Many a time a mad- 
cap satyr desiring to attract Pomona's atten- 

176 



POMONA 177 

tion danced in vain near her orchards. Pan 
played entrancingly on his reed pipes, but the 
nymph gave no heed to his music. 

Among the many admirers of Pomona was 
a youth named Vertumnus, who presided over 
gardens and the changing seasons. How often 
he patiently planned to meet this charming 
nymph while she was tending her fruit and 
vines, but his advances were always met with 
a coy indifference which puzzled him. At 
last he determined to appear in various dis- 
guises in order to see if he could attract her 
attention, and discover if she cared for him. 
One day he took the form of a plowman, whip 
in hand, as if he had come from unyoking the 
tired oxen in a neighboring field. At another 
time he assumed the guise of a woodman car- 
rying a pruning knife and ladder, then again 
he appeared in the garb of a hardy reaper car- 
rying a basket filled with golden grain. But 
no matter what disguise he took plowman, 
woodman, reaper, fruit-gatherer, soldier, fish- 
erman he failed to win any attention from 
the nymph, whose interest was centered on the 
precious orchards and vineyards. 



178 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

One day when Pomona was carefully ex- 
amining the ripening fruit an old woman lean- 
ing on a staff appeared before her and said, 
"Thy patient care will earn a precious har- 
vest. Never have I seen such marvelous fruit. 
Tell me, fair nymph, does some strong youth 
help thee attend to the orchards and vine- 
yards?" 

The maiden shook her head and replied, 
"There is no youth who is constant enough to 
love the orchards and vineyards as dearly as 
Pomona." 

But the old woman drew near to her and 
said, "There is one youth whose constancy 
can not be questioned, but thou hast scorned 
his advances. Many times has he told thee 
how gladly he would be thy helpmate, for 
nothing in nature delights him so much as 
the golden harvest of luscious fruit." 

"Thou meanest Vertumnus," said the 
nymph. Then she added, "He is, indeed, 
worthy of thy praise." 

Suddenly the old woman straightened her 
bent figure and threw off her disguise. There 
before Pomona stood the handsome form of 



POMONA 179 

Vertumnus, who no longer felt any doubt 
about the nymph's love. 

In the autumn sunshine under the trees, 
whose boughs were bending with the ripening 
fruit, Pomona and Vertumnus plighted their 
troth, and agreed to share in the labour of 
bringing to perfection the gifts of orchards 
and vineyards. 



IN THE ORCHARD 

D the apples rosy-red, 

O the gnarled trunks grey and brown, 
Heavy branched overhead; 

O the apples rosy-red, 
O the merry laughter sped, 

As the fruit is showered down! 
O the apples rosy-red, 

O the gnarled trunks grey and brown. 

GEORGE WEATHERBY. 



JOHNNY APPLESEED 

JOSEPHINE SCRIBNER GATES 

ONCE there was a man who was very, very 
poor. He had been a farmer, and no one 
raised such fine crops as he did. By and by, 
in some way, he lost his farm, and was left all 
alone. 

He had always wanted to do some grand 
thing, something that would make many peo- 
ple happy, but what could he do? He had 
no money. All he had was a small boat. 

As he trudged along one day, he saw some 
old sacks lying under a tree. As he looked 
at them he had a splendid thought. A thought 
that seemed to have wings, and came flying 
from far away. Oh, it was a beautiful 
thought, and seemed to be singing a little song 
in his heart, as he picked up the sacks and 
placed them in his boat, jumped in himself 
and floated away. 

181 



i8a THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

As he rowed down the stream, the man 
watched the shore with keen eyes. When he 
saw an apple orchard he rowed to land, tied 
his boat, hastened to the homes near the or- 
chards and asked for work. 

He cut wood, carried water, and did all sorts 
of odd chores. In payment for this work he 
asked for food, and what else do you suppose? 

The people were so surprised at what he 
asked for they could hardly believe him. He 
asked that he might have the seeds from the 
apples on the ground under the trees only 
the seeds. 

Of course they gladly gave him such a sim- 
ple thing, and as he cut the fruit the neighbour 
children swarmed about him. 

From one place to another he went, always 
adding to his store of seeds. 

Some generous farmers gave him also cut- 
tings of peach, pear, and plum trees, and grape 
vines. 

Day after day, day after day, he cut up the 
fruit, while the children sat at his feet, and 
listened to thrilling tales of what he had seen 
in his travels. Of the Indians with their gay 



JOHNNY APPLESEED 183 

blankets and feathers, of their camps where 
they lived in the forests. 

Of their dances and war paint; their many- 
coloured, beaded necklaces and jingling, sil- 
ver chains and bracelets. Of their beady-eyed 
babies strapped to boards. 

Of the wolves which came out at night to 
watch him as he sat by his fire ; of the beautiful 
deer who ran across his patch. 

He sang funny songs for the children, and 
taught them all sorts of games. 

When it came time to go on, they begged 
him to stay. Never before had they been so 
amused, but on he went, and when his bags 
were full, and he had a goodly store of food, 
he started on to carry out the splendid thought 
Oh, it was a grand thing he was going to do. 

The little boat went on and on, till houses 
were no more to be seen. Splendid forests 
lined the banks here and there. Then he 
paused, for this was what he was seeking a 
place where no one lived. 

He landed and went about with a bag of 
seeds, and when he reached an open place in 
a forest, he planted seeds and cuttings of the 



1 84 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

trees and vines ; then wove a brush fence about 
them to keep the deer away. He then has- 
tened back to his boat and drifted on. 

In many, many places he landed and planted 
seeds, and all the orchards of the Ohio and 
Mississippi Valley we owe to this man. 

Years after when settlers came looking for 
a place to live, they chose these spots where, to 
their great surprise, they found all sorts of 
trees loaded with fruit. 

This man's name was John Chapman, but 
he was nicknamed Johnny Appleseed. 



RED APPLE 

The big Sky-man that makes the Moons, 
Stuck one into our Apple tree; 

I saw it when I went to Bed ; 

The Tree was black; the Moon was red, 
And round as round could be. 

To-day I went to get that Moon, 

For I can climb the Apple-tree; 
The Moon was gone. But in its stead 
I found an Apple round and red, 
And nice as nice could be. 

HAMISH HENDRY. 



185 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE 

DID you ever hear of the golden apples that 
grew in the garden of the Hesperides? Ah, 
those were such apples as would bring a great 
price by the bushel if any of them could be 
found growing in the orchards of nowadays! 
But there is not, I suppose, a graft of that won- 
derful fruit on a single tree in the wide world. 
Not so much as a seed of these apples exists 
any longer. 

And, even in the old, old, half-forgotten 
times, before the garden of the Hesperides 
was overrun with weeds, a great many people 
doubted whether there could be real trees that 
bore apples of solid gold upon their branches. 
All had heard of them, but nobody remem- 
bered to have seen any. Children, neverthe- 

186 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 187 

less, used to listen openmouthed to stories of 
the golden apple-tree, and resolved to discover 
it when they should be big enough. Adven- 
turous young men, who desired to do a braver 
thing than any of their fellows, set out in quest 
of this fruit. Many of them returned no more : 
none of them brought back the apples. No 
wonder that they found it impossible to gather 
them! It is said that there was a dragon be- 
neath the tree with a hundred terrible heads, 
fifty of which were always on the watch while 
the other fifty slept. 

It was quite a common thing with young 
persons, when tired of too much peace and 
rest, to go in search of the garden of the Hes- 
perides. And once the adventure was under- 
taken by a hero, who had enjoyed very little 
peace or rest since he came into the world. At 
the time of which I am going to speak he was 
wandering through the pleasant land of Italy, 
with a mighty club in his hand, and a bow and 
quiver slung across his shoulders. He was 
wrapt in the skin of the biggest and fiercest 
lion that ever had been seen, and which he 
himself had killed ; and though, on the whole, 



i88 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

he was kind and generous and noble, there was 
a good deal of the lion's fierceness in his heart 
As he went on his way he continually inquired 
whether that were the right road to the famous 
garden. But none of the country people knew 
anything about the matter, and many looked 
as if they would have laughed at the question 
if the stranger had not carried so very big a 
club. 

So he journeyed on and on, still making the 
same inquiry, until at last he came to the brink 
of a river, where some beautiful young women 
sat twining wreaths of flowers. 

"Can you tell me, pretty maidens," asked 
the stranger, "whether this is the right way to 
the garden of the Hesperides?" 

On hearing the stranger's question, they 
dropped all their flowers on the grass, and 
gazed at him with astonishment. 

"The garden of the Hesperides!" cried one. 
"We thought mortals had been weary of seek- 
ing it after so many disappointments. And 
pray, adventurous traveler, what do you want 
there?" 

"A certain king, who is my cousin," replied 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES i 

he, "has ordered me to get him three of the 
golden apples." 

"And do you know," asked the damsel who 
had first spoken, "that a terrible dragon with 
a hundred heads keeps watch under the golden 
apple-tree?" 

"I know it well," answered the stranger 
calmly. "But from my cradle upward it has 
been my business, and almost my pastime, to 
deal with serpents and dragons." 

The }^oung women looked at his massive 
club, and at the shaggy lion's skin which he 
wore, and, likewise, at his heroic limbs and 
figure, and they whispered to each other that 
the stranger appeared to be one who might 
reasonably expect to perform deeds far beyond 
the might of others. 

"Go back!" cried they all; "go back to your 
own home! Your mother, beholding you safe 
and sound, will shed tears of joy; and what can 
she do more should you win ever so great a vic- 
tory? No matter for the golden apples! No 
matter for the king, your cruel cousin ! We do 
not wish the dragon with the hundred heads to 
eat you up." 



190 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

The stranger seemed to grow impatient at 
these remonstrances. He carelessly lifted his 
mighty club, and let it fall upon a rock that lay 
half-buried in the earth near by. With the 
force of that idle blow the great rock was 
shattered all to pieces. 

"Do you not believe," said he, looking at the 
damsels with a smile, "that such a blow would 
have crushed one of the dragon's hundred 
heads ?" 

"But the dragon of the Hesperides, you 
know," observed one of the damsels, "has a 
hundred heads!" 

"Nevertheless," replied the stranger, "I 
would rather fight two such dragons than a 
single hydra." 

The traveler proceeded to tell how he 
chased a very swift stag for a twelvemonth to- 
gether, without ever stopping to take breath, 
and had at last caught it by the antlers and 
carried it home alive. And he had fought 
with a very odd race of people, half-horses and 
half-men, and had put them all to death, from 
a sense of duty, in order that their ugly figures 
might never be seen any more. 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 191 

"Do you call that a wonderful exploit?" 
asked one of the young maidens, with a smile. 
"Any clown in the country has done as much." 

"Perhaps you may have heard of rne be- 
fore," said he modestly. "My name is Her- 
cules." 

"We have already guessed it," replied the 
maidens, "for your wonderful deeds are known 
all over the world. We do not think it strange 
any longer that you should set out in quest of 
the golden apples of the Hesperides. Come, 
sisters, let us crown the hero with flowers!" 

Then they flung beautiful wreaths over his 
stately head and mighty shoulders, so that the 
lion's skin was almost entirely covered with 
roses. They took possession of his ponderous 
club, and so entwined it about with the bright- 
est, softest, and most fragrant blossoms that 
not a finger's breadth of its oaken substance 
could be seen. Lastly, they joined hands and 
danced around him, chanting words which 
became poetry of their own accord, and grew 
into a choral song in honor of the illustrious 
Hercules. 

"Dear maidens," said he, when they paused 



192 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

to take breath, "now that you know my name, 
will you not tell me how I am to reach the 
garden of the Hesperides?" 

"We will give you the best directions we 
can," replied the damsels. "You must go to 
the seashore and find out the Old One, and 
compel him to inform you where the golden 
apples are to be found." 

"The Old One!" repeated Hercules, laugh- 
ing at this odd name. "And pray, who may 
the Old One be?" 

"Why, the Old Man of the Sea, to be sure," 
answered one of the damsels. "You must talk 
with this Old Man of the Sea. He is a sea- 
faring person, and knows all about the garden 
of Hesperides, for it is situated in an island, 
which he is often in the habit of visiting." 

Hercules then asked whereabouts the Old 
One was most likely to be met with. When 
the damsels had informed him he thanked 
them for all their kindness. 

But before he was out of hearing one of the 
maidens called after him. 

"Keep fast hold of the Old One when you 
catch him!" cried she. 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 193 

"Do not be astonished at anything that may 
happen. Only hold him fast, and he will tell 
you what you wish to know." 

Hercules again thanked her, and pursued 
his way. 

"We will crown him with the loveliest of 
our garlands," said they, "when he returns 
hither with the three golden apples after slay- 
ing the dragon with a hundred heads." 

Hercules traveled constantly onward over 
hill and dale, and through the solitary 
woods. 

Hastening forward without ever pausing or 
looking behind, he, by and by, heard the sea 
roaring at a distance. At this sound he in- 
creased his speed, and soon came to a beach 
where the great surf-waves tumbled them- 
selves upon the hard sand in a long line of 
snowy foam. At one end of the beach, how- 
ever, there was a pleasant spot where some 
green shrubbery clambered up a cliff, making 
its rocky face look soft and beautiful. A car- 
pet of verdant grass, largely intermixed with 
sweet-smelling clover, covered the narrow 
space between the bottom of the cliff and the 



194 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

sea. And what should Hercules espy there 
but an old man fast asleep. 

But was it really and truly an old man? 
Certainly, at first sight, it looked very like one, 
but on closer inspection it rather seemed to be 
some kind of a creature that lived in the sea. 
For on his legs and arms there were scales such 
as fishes have; he was web- footed and web- 
fingered, after the fashion of a duck; and his 
long beard, being of a greenish tinge, had 
more the appearance of a turf of seaweed than 
of an ordinary beard. Hercules, the instant 
he set eyes on this strange figure, was con- 
vinced that it could be no other than the Old 
One who was to direct him on his way. 

Thanking his stars for the lucky accident 
of finding the old fellow asleep, Hercules stole 
on tiptoe toward him, and caught him by the 
arm and leg. 

"Tell me," cried he, before the Old One was 
well awake, "which is the way to the garden 
of the Hesperides?" 

The Old Man of the Sea awoke in a fright 
But his astonishment could hardly have been 
greater than that of Hercules the next mo- 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 195 

ment. For, all of a sudden, the Old One 
seemed to disappear out of his grasp, and he 
found himself holding a stag by the fore and 
hind leg! But still he kept fast hold. Then 
the stag disappeared, and in its stead there was 
a seabird, fluttering and screaming, while Her- 
cules clutched it by the wing and claw. But 
the bird could not get away. Immediately 
afterward there was an ugly three-headed dog, 
which growled and barked at Hercules, and 
snapped fiercely at the hands by which he 
held him! But Hercules would not let him 
go. In another minute, instead of the three- 
headed dog, what should appear but Geryones, 
the six-legged man-monster, kicking at Her- 
cules with five of his legs in order to get the 
remaining one at liberty! But Hercules held 
on. By and by no Geryones was there, but a 
huge snake like one of those which Hercules 
had strangled in his babyhood, only a hundred 
times as big. But Hercules was no whit dis- 
heartened, and squeezed the great snake so 
tightly that he soon began to hiss with pain. 

You must understand that the Old Man of 
the Sea, though he generally looked so like the 



196 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

wave-beaten figurehead of a vessel, had the 
power of assuming any shape he pleased. 
When he found himself so roughly seized by 
Hercules, he had been in hopes of putting him 
into such surprise and terror by these magical 
transformations that the hero would be glad to 
let him go. If Hercules had relaxed his grasp, 
the Old One would certainly have plunged 
down to the very bottom of the sea. 

But as Hercules held on so stubbornly, and 
only squeezed the Old One so much the tighter 
at every change of shape, and really put him 
to no small torture, he finally thought it best 
to reappear in his own figure. 

"Pray what do you want with me?" cried 
the Old One as soon as he could take breath. 

"My name is Hercules!" roared the mighty 
stranger, "and you will never get out of my 
clutch until you tell me the nearest way to the 
garden of the Hesperides." 

When the old fellow heard who it was that 
had caught him, he saw with half an eye that 
it would be necessary to tell him everything 
that he wanted to know. Of course he had 
often heard of the fame of Hercules, and of 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 197 

the wonderful things that he was constantly 
performing in various parts of the earth, and 
how determined he always was to accomplish 
whatever he undertook. He, therefore, made 
no more attempts to escape, but told the hero 
how to find the garden of the Hesperides. 

"You must go on thus and thus," said the 
Old Man of the Sea, "till you come in sight 
of a very tall giant who holds the sky on his 
shoulders. And the giant, if he happens to be 
in the humour, will tell you exactly where the 
garden of the Hesperides lies." 

Thanking the Old Man of the Sea, and 
begging his pardon for having squeezed him so 
roughly, the hero resumed his journey. He 
met with a great many strange adventures, 
which would be well worth your hearing if I 
had leisure to narrate them as minutely as 
they deserve. 

Hercules continued his travels. He went 
to the land of Egypt, where he was taken pris^ 
oner, and would have been put to death if he 
had not slain the king of the country and made 
his escape. Passing through the deserts of 
Africa, and going as fast as he could, he ar- 



198 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

rived at last on the shore of the great ocean. 
And here, unless he could walk on the crests 
of the billows, it seemed as if his journey must 
needs be at an end. 

Nothing was before him save the foaming, 
dashing, measureless ocean. But suddenly, as 
he looked toward the horizon, he saw some- 
thing, a great way off, which he had not seen 
the moment before. It gleamed very brightly, 
almost as you may have beheld the round, 
golden disk of the sun when it rises or sets 
over the edge of the world. It evidently drew 
nearer, for at every instant this wonderful 
object became larger and more lustrous. At 
length it had come so nigh that Hercules dis- 
covered it to be an immense cup or bowl 
made either of gold or burnished brass. How 
it had got afloat upon the sea is more than I 
can tell you. There it was at all events, 
rolling on the tumultuous billows, which 
tossed it up and down, and heaved their foamy 
tops against its sides, but without ever throw- 
ing their spray over the brim. 

"I have seen many giants in my time," 
thought Hercules, "but never one that would 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 199 

need to drink his wine, out of a cup like 
this." 

And, true enough, what a cup it must have 
been ! It was as large as large but, in short, 
I am afraid to say how immeasurably large it 
was. To speak within bounds, it was ten 
times larger than a great mill-wheel, and, all 
of metal as it was, it floated over the heaving 
surges more lightly than an acorn-cup adown 
the brook. The waves tumbled it onward until 
it grazed against the shore within a short dis- 
t/ance of the spot where Hercules was stand- 
ing. 

As soon as this happened he knew what was 
to be done. 

It was just as clear as daylight that this mar- 
velous cup had been set adrift by some unseen 
power, and guided hitherward in order to 
carry Hercules across the sea on his way to the 
garden of the Hesperides. Accordingly, he 
clambered over the brim, and slid down on the 
inside. The waves dashed with a pleasant and 
ringing sound against the circumference of the 
hollow cup ; it rocked lightly to and fro, and 
the motion was so soothing that it speedily 



200 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

L 

rocked Hercules into an agreeable slumber. 

His nap had probably lasted a good while, 
when the cup chanced to graze against a rock, 
and, in consequence, immediately resounded 
and reverberated through its golden or brazen 
substance a hundred times as loudly as ever 
you heard a church-bell. The noise awoke 
Hercules, who instantly started up and gazed 
around him, wondering whereabouts he was. 
He was not long in discovering that the cup 
had floated across a great part of the sea, and 
was approaching the shore of what seemed to 
be an island. And on that island what do you 
think he saw? 

No, you will never guess it not if you were 
to try fifty thousand times ! It positively ap- 
pears to me that this was the most marvelous 
spectacle that had ever been seen by Hercules 
in the whole course of his wonderful travels 
and adventures. It was a greater marvel than 
the hydra with nine heads, which kept growing 
twice as fast as they were cut off; greater than 
the six-legged man-monster; greater than any- 
thing that was ever beheld by anybody before 
or since the days of Hercules, or than any- 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 201 

thing that remains to be beheld by travelers in 
all time to come. It was a giant! 

But such an intolerably big giant! A giant 
as tall as a mountain ; so vast a giant that the 
clouds rested about his midst like a girdle, and 
hung like a hoary beard from his chin, and 
flitted before his huge eyes so that he could 
neither see Hercules nor the golden cup in 
which he was voyaging. And, most wonderful 
of all, the giant held up his great hands and 
appeared to support the sky, which, so far as 
Hercules could discern through the clouds, 
was resting upon his head! This does really 
seem almost too much to believe. 

Meanwhile the bright cup continued to float 
onward, and finally touched the strand. Just 
then a breeze wafted away the clouds from 
before the giant's visage, and Hercules beheld 
it, with all its enormous features eyes each of 
them as big as yonder lake, a nose a mile long, 
and a mouth the same width. 

Poor fellow! He had evidently stood there 
a long while. An ancient forest had been 
growing and decaying around his feet, and oak 
trees of six or seven centuries old had sprung 



202 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

from the acorns, and forced themselves be- 
tween his toes. The giant now looked down 
from the far height of his great eyes, and, per- 
ceiving Hercules, roared out: 

"Who are you, down at my feet, there? 
And whence do you come in that little cup?" 

"I am Hercules!" thundered back the hero. 
"And I am seeking for the garden of the Hes- 
perides!" 

"Ho! ho! ho!" roared the giant, in a fit of 
immense laughter. "That is a wise adven- 
ture, truly!" 

"And why not?" cried Hercules. "Do you 
think I am afraid of the dragon with a hun- 
dred heads?" 

Just at this time, while they were talking 
together, some black clouds gathered about 
the giant's middle and burst into a tremendous 
storm of thunder and lightning, causing such 
a pother that Hercules found it impossible to 
distinguish a word. Only the giant's im- 
measurable legs were to be seen, standing up 
into the obscurity of the tempest, and now 
and then a momentary glimpse of his whole 
figure mantled in a volume of mist. He 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 203 

seemed to be speaking most of the time, but his 
big, deep, rough voice chimed in with the re- 
verberations of the thunder-claps and rolled 
away over the hills like them. 

At last the storm swept over as suddenly as 
it had come. And there again was the clear 
sky, and the weary giant holding it up, and the 
pleasant sunshine beaming over his vast height 
and illuminating it against the background of 
the sullen thunder-clouds. So far above the 
shower had been his head that not a hair of it 
was moistened by the raindrops. 

When the giant could see Hercules still 
standing on the seashore, he roared out to him 
anew : 

"I am Atlas, the mightiest giant in the 
world! And I hold the sky upon my head!" 

"So I see," answered Hercules. "But can 
you show me the way to the garden of the 
Hesperides?" 

"What do you want there?" asked the giant. 

"I want three of the golden apples," shouted 
Hercules, "for my cousin, the king." 

"There is nobody but myself," quoth the 
giant, "that can go to the garden of the 



204 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Hesperides and gather the golden apples. If 
it were not for this little business of holding up 
the sky, I would make half a dozen steps across 
the sea and get them for you." 

"You are very kind," replied Hercules. 
"And cannot you rest the sky upon a moun- 
tain?" 

"None of them are quite high enough," said 
Atlas, shaking his head. "But if you were to 
take your stand on the summit of that nearest 
one your head would be pretty nearly on a 
level with mine. You seem to be a fellow of 
some strength. What if you should take my 
burden on your shoulders while I do your er- 
rand for you?" 

"Is the sky very heavy?" he inquired. 

"Why, not particularly so at first," answered 
the giant, shrugging his shoulders, "but it gets 
to be a little burdensome after a thousand 
years." 

"And how long a time," asked the hero, 
"will it take you to get the golden apples?" 

"Oh, that will be done in a few moments!" 
cried Atlas. "I shall take ten or fifteen miles 
at a stride, and be at the garden and back 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 205 

again before your shoulders begin to ache." 
"Well, then," answered Hercules, "I will 
climb the mountain behind you, and relieve 
you of your burden." 

The truth is, Hercules had a kind heart of 
his own, and considered that he should be 
doing the giant a favour by allowing him this 
opportunity for a ramble. And, besides, he 
thought that it would be still more for his own 
glory if he could boast of upholding the sky 
than merely to do so ordinary a thing as 
to conquer a dragon with a hundred heads. 
Accordingly, the sky was shifted from the 
shoulders of Atlas, and placed upon those of 
Hercules. 

When this was safely accomplished, the first 
thing that the giant did was to stretch himself. 
Next, he slowly lifted one of his feet out of the 
forest, that had grown up around it, then the 
other. Then all at once he began to caper and 
leap and dance for joy at his freedom, flinging 
himself nobody knows how high into the air, 
and floundering down again with a shock that 
made the earth tremble. Then he laughed 
"ho! ho! ho!" with a thunderous roar that 



206 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

was echoed from the mountains far and near. 
When his joy had a little subsided, he stepped 
into the sea ten miles at the first stride, which 
brought him mid-leg deep; and ten miles at 
the second, when the water came just above 
his knees; and ten miles more at the third, by 
which he was immersed nearly to his waist. 
This was the greatest depth of the sea. 

Hercules watched the giant until the gigan- 
tic shape faded entirely out of view. And 
now Hercules began to consider what he 
should do in case Atlas should be drowned in 
the sea, or if he were to be stung to death by 
the dragon with the hundred heads, which 
guarded the golden apples of the Hesperides. 
If any such misfortune were to happen, how 
could he ever get rid of the sky? And, by the 
by, its weight began already to be a little irk- 
some to his head and shoulders. 

"I really pity the poor giant," thought 
Hercules. "If it wearies me so much in tea 
minutes, how it must have wearied him in a 
thousand years!" 

I know not how long it was before, to his 
unspeakable joy, he beheld the huge shape of 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 207 

the giant, like a cloud, on the far-off edge of 
the sea. At his nearer approach Atlas held up 
his hand in which Hercules could perceive 
three magnificent golden apples as big as 
pumpkins, and all hanging from one branch. 

"I am glad to see you again," shouted Her- 
cules when the giant was within hearing. "So 
you have got the golden apples?" 

"Certainly, certainly," answered Atlas, 
"and very fair apples they are. I took the 
finest that grew on the tree, I assure you. Ah, 
it is a beautiful spot, that garden of the Hes- 
perides! Yes, and the dragon with a hundred 
heads is a sight worth any man's seeing. After 
all, you had better have gone for the apples 
yourself." 

"No matter," replied Hercules. "You have 
had a pleasant ramble, and have done the 
business as well as I could. I heartily thank 
you for your trouble. And now, as I have a 
long way to go, and am rather in haste, and as 
the king, my cousin, is anxious to receive the 
golden apples, will you be kind enough to take 
the sky off my shoulders again?" 

"Why, as to that," said the giant, chucking 



208 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

the golden apples into the air twenty miles 
high or thereabouts, and catching them as they 
came down "as to that, my good friend, I 
consider you a little unreasonable. Cannot I 
carry the golden apples to the king, your 
cousin, much quicker than you could? As his 
majesty is in such a hurry to get them, I prom- 
ise you to take my longest strides. And, be- 
sides, I have no fancy for burdening myself 
with the sky just now." 

Here Hercules grew impatient, and gave a 
great shrug of his shoulders. It being now 
twilight, you might have seen two or three 
stars tumble out of their places. Everybody 
on earth looked upward in affright, thinking 
that the sky might be going to fall next. 

"Oh, that will never do!" cried Giant Atlas 
with a great roar of laughter. "I have not let 
fall so many stars within the last five centuries. 
By the time you have stood there as long as I 
did you will begin to learn patience." 

"What!" shouted Hercules, very wrathfully, 
"do you intend to make me bear this burden 
forever?" 

"We will see about that one of these days," 



THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES 209 

answered the giant. "At all events, you ought 
not to complain if you have to bear it the next 
hundred years, or perhaps the next thousand. 
I bore it a good while longer, in spite of the 
backache. Well, then, after a thousand years, 
if I happen to feel in the mood, we may possi- 
bly shift about again. Posterity will talk of 
you, I warrant it." 

"Pish! a fig for its talk!" cried Hercules, 
with another hitch of his shoulders. "Just 
take the sky upon your head one instant, will 
you? I want to make a cushion of my lion's 
skin for the weight to rest upon. It really 
chafes me, and will cause unnecessary incon- 
venience in so many centuries as I am to stand 
here." 

"That's no more than fair, and I'll do it," 
quoth the giant. "For just five minutes, then, 
I'll take back the sky. Only for five minutes, 
recollect. I have no idea of spending another 
thousand years as I spent the last. Variety is 
the spice of life, say I." 

Ah, the thick-witted old rogue of a giant! 
He threw down the golden apples, and re- 
ceived back the sky from the head and shoul- 



210 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

ders of Hercules upon his own, where it 
rightly belonged. And Hercules picked up 
the three golden apples that were as big or 
bigger than pumpkins, and straightway set out 
on his journey homeward, without paying the 
slightest heed to the thundering tones of the 
giant, who bellowed after him to come back. 
Another forest sprang up around his feet and 
grew ancient there, and again might be seen 
oak-trees of six or seven centuries old, that had 
waxed thus aged betwixt his enormous toes. 
And there stands the giant to this day, or, at 
any rate, there stands a mountain as tall as he, 
and which bears his name; and when the 
thunder rumbles about its summit we may 
imagine it to be the voice of Giant Atlas bel- 
lowing after Hercules. 

Abridged. 



OCTOBER ORCHARD OF THE 

YEAR! 

BEND thy boughs to the earth, redolent of 
glowing fruit! Ripened seeds shake in their 
pods. Apples drop in the stillest hours. 
Leaves begin to let go when no wind is out, 
and swing in long waverings to the earth, 
which they touch without sound, and lie look- 
ing up, till winds rake them, and heap them in 
fence corners. When the gales come through 
the trees, the yellow leaves trail, like sparks 
at night behind the flying engine. The woods 
are thinner so that we can see the leaves 
plainer, as we lie dreaming on the yet warm 
moss of the singing spring. The days are 
calm. The nights are tranquil. The year's 
work is done. She walks in gorgeous apparel, 
looking upon her long labour, and her serene 
eye saith, "It is good." 



211 



NOVEMBER 

Trees bare and brown, 
Dry leaves everywhere 

Dancing up and down, 
Whirling through the air. 

Red-cheeked apples roasted, 
Popcorn almost done, 

Toes and chestnuts toasted, 
That's November fun. 



212 



WOODLAND ANIMALS 



No sound was in the woodlands 
Save the squirrel's dropping shell 
And the yellow leaves among the boughs, 
Low rustling as they fell. 

At last after watching and waiting, 
Autumn, the beautiful came, 
Stepping with sandals silver, 
Decked with her mantle of flame. 



214 



THE PRETENDING WOODCHUCK 

CARL S. PATTON 

AMONG the wild animals I have not known 
was a family of woodchucks who lived in a 
hollow log on the edge of a farm in New York 
State. Not that they cared much whether it 
was New York State or some other state. I 
mentioned it only that the details of this story 
may be verified by anyone who is inclined to 
doubt them. It was New York State. 

Now here was a thing that distinguished this 
family to start with, from all other families 
of the neighbourhood they lived in a hollow 
log. All their relatives and friends lived in 
the ground. I don't know how this family got 
started to living in the rotten log. But I do 
happen to know that though there were a 
great many warm discussions about the rela- 
tive merits of a house in a log, and a house in 
the ground, and though many ground houses 
in the best locations and with all modern im- 

215 



2i 6 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

provements were offered to this family, they 
stuck to the house in the log. 

The house certainly did have one advan- 
tage ; it had two doors. And not only that, the 
log was part of an old fence, and the fence 
ran between the garden and the cornfield. So 
in the summer when the garden stuff was fine, 
all you had to do was to walk down the hall- 
way of the log, until you came to the left-hand 
door, and there you were right in the garden. 
But when fall came and the garden was dried 
up, but the corn was stacked in shocks or 
husked and put into the crib, all you had to 
do was to go down the hallway, to the door 
that turned to the right, and there you were 
in the cornfield. Quite aside from these ad- 
vantages, who would live in a house with one 
door in it when he could just as well have one 
with two? 

The log-house family consisted of father, 
mother, and four children. The youngest of 
these the favourite of the family, was named 
Monax. His mother had heard that the scien- 
tific name for woodchuck was Arctomys 
Monax, and being of a scientific turn of mind, 



PRETENDING WOODCHUCK 217 

she was much taken with this name. But no 
woodchuck in her neighbourhood had two 
names.. So she took the last of the two and 
called her son Monax. 

Monax had never been out in the world. 
He had been down to the two doors, and had 
looked out, but that was all. But he had been 
well instructed at home. He knew about men, 
and how they would sometimes shoot at wood- 
chucks; and about dogs, and about the corn- 
crib; and for a long time he had known all 
about garden vegetables and corn. He was 
certainly a promising boy, even his father and 
mother acknowledged it, but he had one weak 
point he could not learn which was his right 
hand and which was his left. 

In the fall Monax' father was laid up with 
rheumatism. He was a terrible old fellow to 
groan and carry on when he was sick, and his 
wife had to stand by him every minute. The 
house had to be fixed for winter, and the other 
children were at work on this. Saturday came 
and someone had to go to market. Who was 
there to go except Monax? So it was decided 
that Monax should go. 



2i8 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Mrs. Woodchuck gave him his instructions. 
She always gave everybody their instructions. 
Mr. Woodchuck was, like many of us, quite 
an important man, away from home. "You 
go out at the right-hand door," said Mrs. 
Woodchuck to Monax; "mind me, at the right- 
hand door. You go through the corn-field 'till 
you come to the big rock in the middle of it. 
Then you turn to the right again." She paused 
a moment, and a look of hesitancy or misgiv- 
ing came into her face. "Do you really know," 
she said solemnly, "do you really know your 
right hand from your left?" "Yes," said 
Monax. "Hold up your right one," said his 
mother. Monax' mind was in a whirl. He 
tried to imagine himself with his back to the 



cornfield door, where he stood when he had 
his last lesson on the subject. If he could only 
get that clearly in his mind, he could remem- 
ber which hand he held up then. But he was 
too excited to think. So he held up one hand ; 
he hadn't the slightest idea which it was. 
"Certainly," said his mother, "certainly. 
Your father said it was not safe to let you go, 
because you did not know your right hand 



PRETENDING WOODCHUCK 219 

from your left. But he under-rates you. He 
under-rates all the children." She spoke al- 
most petulantly. Then her mind seemed to be 
relieved, and she proceeded with her instruc- 
tions. "Through the corn-field," she said, 
" 'till you come to the big rock; then you go to 
the right 'till you come to the edge of the field. 
You will see a couple of men in the corn-field. 
But do not be afraid of them; they are only 
scare-crows. Even if one of them has a gun, 
it is only a wooden one, and they can't hurt 
you. Go right ahead. At the edge of the 
corn-field, by the maple tree, you turn to the 
right again always to the right. Then you 
will see the barn. Go in and look around 
there. Keep away from the horses and don't 
mind the odour. If you find a basket of corn 
on the barn floor, help yourself and come 
home. If you don't you will have to go a little 
farther. Just to the right of the barn a few 
yards always to the right is the corn-crib. 
That is where your father and I get most of 
the supplies for the family. You climb up 
into the old wagon-box that stands on the scaf- 
folding, and jump from that into the crib. 



220 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Getting out is much easier and after that all 
you have to do is to come home. You needn't 
hurry especially. I sha'n't be worried about 
you, because there are no dogs there the dog 
lives away over on the other side of the fence 
beyond the garage and I know the scare- 
crows will not hurt you." 

So Monax started out. Down the hall he 
went, pondering his instructions. If Mrs. 
Woodchuck had not gone back to tie another 
piece of red flannel around Mr. Woodchuck's 
rheumatic knee, she might have observed that 
Monax moved slowly, as if in deep thought. 
But she observed nothing, and so said 
nothing. 

Monax was in deep thougnt. He was try- 
ing to decide which was his right hand and 
which was his left. If he could only be sure of 
either one of them he could guess at the other 
one. He had to know before he got to the first 
of the two doors. Why were anybody's two 
hands so much alike? How could anyone be 
sure which was which? He stopped and held 
up one, then the other; they looked just alike. 
He struck one of them against the wall; then 



PRETENDING WOODCHUCK 221 

the other, they felt just alike. He couldn't 
stop long about it; if his mother caught him at 
it, she would probably suspect what was the 
matter with him, and his little journey into the 
world would be stopped before it began. 

He came to the first door, and a sudden in- 
spiration came to him. He never knew how 
it was, but he felt perfectly confident which 
was his right hand. It seemed perfectly sim- 
ple, somehow. It was this one. So he turned 
out into the garden. 

He didn't see any corn-shocks. But he was 
not surprised at that. His mother had said 
maybe they w T ould have been hauled away by 
this time. He looked ahead. Yes, there was 
the big stone. It did look a good deal like a 
cement horse-block. "But then," he said to 
himself, "they make stone these days so that 
you can hardly tell it from cement." He 
looked for the two scarecrows. If they were 
there he would know he was right. And there 
they were. They were awfully good imita- 
tions of men. One of them was walking about 
just a little. As he went by them, he noticed 
that neither of them had a gun, but he heard 



222 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

one of them say to the other, "Ever eat 'em?" 
"The young uns," said the other, "are pretty 
good ; old ones too tough." Monax was much 
interested, but he was not frightened. On a 
page of the "Scientific American," which his 
mother brought home a few weeks before, he 
had read about the talking pictures that Mr. 
Edison had invented. He hadn't read of the 
talking scarecrows, but he had no doubt there 
w r ere such. "You never can tell what these 
men will invent next," he said as he moved 
leisurely by. 

At the big stone he turned this way he 
said to himself. "It is surprising how sure I 
am about my right hand now." He came to 
the edge of the field. There, just as his mother 
had said, was the barn. It looked more like 
a garage than a barn. But styles change. 
Anyway, there it was to the right, just as his 
mother had told him. "If you are sure of 
your direction everything else takes care of 
itself," he said. "The location is right." 

He went into the barn. He noticed the 
odour; something like gasoline. He looked for 
the horses; none there. He glanced about for 



PRETENDING WOODCHUCK 223 

the basket of corn. All he saw, instead, was a 
bunch of waste lying on top of a big red tank. 
Where the horses ought to have been was an 
automobile. "Probably they have changed it 
over from a barn to a garage since mother was 
here," he said; "if you are going to keep up 
with the times these days you can't stay in the 
house; you've got to get out where things are 
doing.' 5 It was no use to look for corn there. 
He had had no instructions to bring home 
gasoline. His mother used ammonia instead. 
So he took his time to look around the barn, 
and then moved leisurely out. Just a few 
yards to the right again, as his mother had 
said, was the corn-crib. He had never seen 
one before, and this one looked small to him. 
It looked more like a dog-house to him. But 
the location was right again "always to the 
right," his mother said. 

The old wagon box wasn't there. But at the 
back end of the corn-crib there was a board 
tacked up from the crib to the tree. That was 
probably one end of the scaffold that had held 
the wagon box. Of course they wouldn't leave 
the wagon box there all the fall. Probably 



224 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

they were using it to haul corn, at that very 
moment, to that very crib. 

Meantime Mrs. Woodchuck was growing 
very worried at home for Monax had taken 
more time for his journey than his mother 
thought he would. Mr. Woodchuck' s knee 
was very bad, and whenever he had rheuma- 
tism he was more pessimistic than usual. "I 
tell you," said he, "that boy will never get 
home. He doesn't know his right hand from 
his left." "I tell you he does," said Mrs. 
Woodchuck; "I tried him on it just before he 
went." "I wouldn't be surprised," Mr. Wood- 
chuck stuck to his position, "if he had turned 
out that left-hand door, into the garden and 
had gone to the garage instead of the barn. 
There is one thing sure; if he tries to get corn 
out of that dog kennel, he will find out his mis- 
take." Mr. Woodchuck's lack of sympathy 
always irritated his wife. 

"Keep still," she said, "you will give me 
nervous prostration again if you keep saying 
such things." 

Monax had climbed up onto the board. He 
paused to look around a moment. Then think- 



PRETENDING WOODCHUCK 225* 

ing that he must not be quite so leisurely, he 
jumped quickly through the little window just 
under the roof. 

Then things began to happen so fast that 
Monax could hardly keep track of them. For 
what Monax had really done was just what his 
father said he probably would do. He had 
turned to the left every time, where he ought 
to have turned to the right. He had gone 
through the garden instead of the cornfield, 
past the cement horse-block instead of the big 
stone, mistaken the garage for the barn, and 
now, worst luck of all, he had jumped into the 
dog kennel instead of into the corn-crib. 

The old dog had been after the sheep and 
cows, and was fast asleep on the floor of his 
kennel. Still, he didn't propose to lie there 
and be jumped on by a woodchuck not in his 
own kennel. And Monax well, perhaps he 
wasn't surprised when, instead of landing on 
top of a crib of corn he fell clear to the bot- 
tom, and felt his feet touching something furry 
that moved. But it didn't have time to move 
much. Monax felt that a crisis had arrived 
in his career, and it was time to act. He didn't 



226 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

wait to look for the door of the kennel; he 
didn't want to try any more new routes. He 
just rebounded off the back of the dog like a 
rubber ball from the pavement. Up he went, 
breaking the woodchuck record for the high 
jump, back through the window, onto the 
board, down to the ground quick as a flash. 
The dog was after him, but Monax was six 
feet ahead. Away he went, past the barn; the 
auto was just backing out; it came over Monax 
that it wasn't a barn after all. He dodged 
under the machine; the dog had to run around 
it; three feet more gained. He went by the 
big stone at full speed, it looked more than 
ever to him like a cement horse-block. Past 
the two scarecrows; he could see that they 
had moved quite a little since he passed them 
coming out, and one of them had a gun now. 
Bang, it went; he felt the shot pass through 
his tail, and it increased his speed to forty 
miles. He didn't have much time to reflect, 
but it did come over him that those were not 
scarecrows, but men, and that what he had 
overheard them say a half hour before about 
the "young uns being good to eat" might pos- 



PRETENDING WOODCHUCK 227 

sibly have had some reference to himself. 
On he sped, through the garden; it was per- 
fectly plain now that it had never been a corn- 
field, and on like a flash through the garden 
door into the loghouse, and into his father's 
room fluttering, trembling, and more dead 
than alive. 

"Did you turn to the right?" asked his 
mother. 

"I did on the way back," said Monax. 



MRS. BUNNY'S DINNER PARTY 

ANNA E. SKINNER 

"ARE you ready, my dear?" said Mr. Bobtail, 
looking at his large watch. "Mrs. Bunny will 
expect us to come in good time to her dinner 
party." 

"I shall be ready in a few minutes, Mr. Bob- 
tail. I wonder how many are invited. We 
always meet fine people at Mrs. Bunny's 
house." 

Mrs. Bobtail brought out her little gray silk 
bonnet, and Mr. Bobtail's best birch cane. 

"Come," she said, "it is a good half hour's 
walk to Bramble Hollow. Shall we go around 
by the way of Cabbage-Patch Lane?" 

"Oh, no, my dear, let us take a short cut 
through the meadow." 

Off they started arm in arm across the sunlit 
fields. 

"See, there are Mr. and Mrs. Frisk gather- 
ing nuts," said Mr. Bobtail. "Jack Frost 



Reprinted from "The Churchman." 

228 



MRS. BUNNY'S DINNER PARTY 229 

shook the trees last night. There are plenty 
lying on the ground." 

"Good morning. How are all the little 
Friskies?" called Mrs. Bobtail. 

"Oh, how do you do! They are quite well, 
thank you," said Mrs. Frisk. 

"The nuts are fine this fall, Mr. Frisk," 
said Mr. Bobtail, shaking hands with his 
friend. 

"Yes, indeed. We have gathered a great 
many for our winter store. But you see we 
dare not stop long in this open field." Mr. 
Frisk dropped his voice and glanced about in 
all directions. Then he added, "This is hunt- 
ing season, you know." 

"What! Do you mean you are afraid of 
hunters?" asked Mr. Bobtail in surprise. 

"Indeed, we are," said Mrs. Frisk, coming 
a little nearer. "From our cosy home up in 
the hollow of this tree we saw two hunters 
crossing the field this morning. When their 
dogs sniffed about the ground and barked up 
the tree, we held our breath in fear." 

"Yes," added Mr. Frisk, "and in a short 
time we heard 'bang! bang!' I tell you we 



230 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

didn't venture down to gather nuts for several 
hours." 

"How dreadful! And we are on our way 
to Mrs. Bunny's dinner party," said Mrs. 
Bobtail, looking in all directions; "do you 
think we had better go on, my dear?" 

"Of course ! Of course ! I've never had the 
least fear of a gun ! Let hunters bang away as 
much as they please, they will never frighten 
me." Mr. Bobtail straightened up as he 
spoke, and tossed back his head. "Come, Mrs. 
Bobtail. Good day, my friends." 

"Good day. We hope you will have a pleas- 
ant time," said Mr. Frisk. 

"Isn't Mr. Bobtail wonderfully brave?" said 
Mrs. Frisk, looking after her friends. 



When they came $ near Bramble Hollow, 
Mr. and Mrs. Bobtail met some of their 
friends. There were Mr. and Mrs. Pinkeye, 
Mr. and Mrs. Longears, Mr. and Mrs. Cot- 
tontail, all on their way to the dinner 
party. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny were waiting for their 
guests. The little Bunnies had been told how 
to behave. 



MRS. BUNNY'S DINNER PARTY 231 

"Now, my dears/' their mother had said, 
"you may play out-of-doors while we are at 
dinner. When we have finished I'll call you. 
Now no matter how hungry you are don't dare 
peep in at the windows. And if anything hap- 
pens to frighten you slip into the kitchen and 
wait there quietly until I come/' 

Away scampered four happy little Bun- 
nies. 

At noon all the guests had reached Bramble 
Hollow. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny welcomed 
them, and in a little while all were seated 
around the table laughing and talking mer- 
rily. 

"What fine salad this is, Mrs. Bunny," said 
Mrs. Longears. "The cabbage hearts are very 
sweet this fall." 

Mrs. Bunny nodded pleasantly and said, 
"Do have some lettuce, Mr. Bobtail. I'm 
sure your long walk must have made you hun- 

gry." 

"I hope you will like our carrots," said 
Mr. Bunny, helping himself to another. 
"Come, Mrs. Cottontail, let me help you to 
another serving of turnip tops." 



232 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Thank you, Mr. Bunny. What a pleasant 
home you have here in Bramble Hollow. Do 
hunters ever wander into this quiet corner?" 

"Well, yes. They stroll through the hollow 
sometimes." 

"Dear me," said Mrs. Cottontail. 

"Our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Frisk, were 
telling us that they saw two hunters cross- 
ing the fields this morning," said Mrs. Bob- 
tail. 

"This morning!" cried some of the guests, 
pricking up their ears. 

"Come, come, my friends," said Mr. Bob- 
tail, laughing, "I see I shall have to quiet you. 
I never could see why so many rabbits are 
afraid of a gun! I have often stayed quietly 
under a hedge while a hunter fired shots as 
near to me as " 

"Bang! bang! bang!" 

Four little Bunnies leaped through the win- 
dow, and jumped right over the table, upset- 
ting many of the dishes. 

Mr. Bobtail darted off his chair at the same 
time, and rushed to a corner of the kitchen, 
where he stayed, shaking with fear. 



MRS. BUNNY'S DINNER PARTY 233 

The other guests did not move or speak for 
several minutes. Then Mrs. Bunny caught 
sight of Mr. Bobtail in the corner. "Come 
out, Mr. Bobtail," she called, "I'm sure the 
hunters have gone into the next field." 



THE NUTCRACKERS OF NUT- 
CRACKER LODGE 

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE 

MR. AND MRS. NUTCRACKER were as respect- 
able a pair of squirrels as ever wore gray 
brushes over their backs. They lived in Nut- 
cracker Lodge, a hole in a sturdy old chest- 
nut tree overhanging a shady dell. Here they 
had reared many families of young Nutcrack- 
ers, who were models of good behavior in the 
forest. 

But it happened in the course of time that 
they had a son named Featherhead, who was 
as different from all the other children of the 
Nutcracker family as if he had been dropped 
out of the moon into their nest. He was hand- 
some enough, and had a lively disposition, 
but he was sulky and contrary and unreason- 
able. He found fault with everything his re- 
spectable papa and mama did. Instead of 

helping with the cares of the family, picking 

234 



THE NUTCRACKERS 235 

up nuts and learning other lessons proper to 
a young squirrel, he sneered at all the good 
old ways and customs of the Nutcracker 
Lodge, and said they were behind the times. 
To be sure he was always on hand at meal 
times, and played a very lively tooth on the 
nuts which his mother had collected, always 
selecting the best for himself. But he sea- 
soned his nibbling with much grumbling and 
discontent. 

Papa Nutcracker would often lose his pa- 
tience, and say something sharp to Feather- 
head, but Mamma Nutcracker would shed 
tears, and beg her darling boy to be a little 
more reasonable. 

While his parents, brothers, and sisters were 
cheerfully racing up and down the branches 
laying up stores for the winter, Featherhead 
sat apart, sulking and scolding. 

"Nobody understands me," he grumbled. 
"Nobody treats me as I deserve to be treated. 
Surely I was born to be something of more 
importance than gathering a few chestnuts 
and hickory-nuts for the winter. I am an 
unusual squirrel.'' 



236 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Depend upon it, my dear," said Mrs. Nut- 
cracker to her husband, "that boy is a genius." 

"Fiddlestick on his genius!" said old Mr. 
Nutcracker; "what does he do?" 

"Oh, nothing, of course, but they say that is 
one of the marks of genius. Remarkable peo- 
ple, you know, never come down to common 
life." 

"He eats enough for any two," said old Nut- 
cracker, "and he never helps gather nuts." 

"But, my dear, Parson Too-Whit, who has 
talked with Featherhead, says the boy has very 
fine feelings, so much above those of the com- 
mon crowd." 

"Feelings be hanged," snapped old Nut- 
cracker. "When a fellow eats all the nuts that 
his mother gives him, and then grumbles at 
her,. I don't believe much in his fine feelings. 



Why doesn't he do something? I'm going to 
tell my fine young gentleman that if he doesn't 
behave himself I'll tumble him out of the nest 
neck and crop, and see if hunger won't do 
something toward bringing down his fine 



airs." 



"Oh, my dear," sobbed Mrs. Nutcracker, 



THE NUTCRACKERS 237 

falling on her husband's neck with both paws, 
"do be patient with our darling boy." 

Now although the Nutcrackers belonged to 
the fine old race of the Grays, they kept on the 
best of terms with all branches of the squirrel 
family. They were very friendly to the Chip- 
munks of Chipmunk Hollow. Young Tip 
Chipmunk, the oldest son, was in all respects a 
perfect contrast to Master Featherhead. Tip 
was lively and cheerful, and very alert in get- 
ting food for the family. Indeed, Mr. and 
Mrs. Chipmunk had very little care, but could 
sit at the door of their hole and chat with 
neighbours, quite sure that Tip would bring 
everything out right for them, and have plenty 
laid up for winter. 

"What a commonplace fellow that Tip 
Chipmunk is," sneered Featherhead one day. 
"I shall take care not to associate with him." 

"My dear, you are too hard on poor Tip," 
said Mrs. Nutcracker. "He is a very good 
son, I'm sure." 

"Oh, I don't doubt he's good enough," said 
Featherhead, "but he's so common. He hasn't 
an idea in his skull above his nuts and Chip- 



238 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

munk Hollow. He is good-natured enough, 
but, dear me, he has no manners! I hope, 
mother, you won't invite the Chipmunks to the 
Thanksgiving dinner these family dinners 
are such a bore." 

"But, my dear Featherhead, your father 
thinks a great deal of the Chipmunks they 
are our relatives you know," said Mother Nut- 
cracker. 

"So are the High-Flyers our relatives. If 
we could get them to come there would be 
some sense to it. But of course a flying squir- 
rel would never come to our house if a com- 
mon chipmunk is a guest. It isn't to be ex- 
pected," said Featherhead. 

"Confound him for a puppy," said old Nut- 
cracker. "I wish good, industrious sons like 
Tip Chipmunk 'were common." 

But in the end Featherhead had his way, 
and the Chipmunks were not invited to Nut- 
cracker Lodge for Thanksgiving dinner. 
However, they were not all offended. In- 
deed, Tip called early in the morning to pay 
his compliments of the season, and leave a 
few dainty beechnuts. 



THE NUTCRACKERS 239 

"He can't even see that he is not wanted 
here/' sneered Featherhead. 

At last old papa declared it was time for 
Featherhead to choose some business. 

"What are you going to do, my boy?" he 
asked. "We are driving now a thriving trade 
in hickory nuts, and if you would like to join 



us " 



"Thank you," said Featherhead, "the hick- 
ory trade is too slow for me. I was never 
made to grub and delve in that way. In fact I 
have my own plans." 

To be plain, Featherhead had formed a 
friendship with the Rats of Rat Hollow a 
race of people whose honesty was doubtful. 
Old Longtooth Rat was a money-lender, and 
for a long time he had had his eye on Feather- 
head as a person silly enough to suit the busi- 
ness which was neither more nor less than 
downright stealing. 

Near Nutcracker Lodge was a large barn 
filled with corn and grain, besides many bush- 
els of hazelnuts, chestnuts and walnuts. Now 
old Longtooth told Featherhead that he should 
nibble a passage into the loft, and set up a 



240 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

commission business there passing out nuts 
and grain as Longtooth wanted them. He did 
not tell Featherhead a certain secret namely, 
that a Scotch terrier was about to be bought 
to keep rats from the grain. 

"How foolish such drudging fellows as Tip 
Chipmunk are!" said Featherhead to himself. 
"There he goes picking up a nut here and a 
grain there, whereas I step into property at 



once." 



"I hope you are honest in your dealings, 
my son," said old Nutcracker. 

Featherhead threw his tail saucily over one 
shoulder and laughed. "Certainly, sir, if hon- 
esty means getting what you can while it is 
going, I mean to be honest." 

Very soon Featherhead seemed to be very 
prosperous. He had a splendid hole in the 
midst of a heap of chestnuts, and he seemed to 
be rolling in wealth. He lavished gifts on his 
mother and sisters; he carried his tail very 
proudly over his back. He was even gracious 
to Tip Chipmunk. 

But one day as Featherhead was lolling in 
his hole, up came two boys with the friskiest, 



THE NUTCRACKERS 241 

wiriest Scotch terrier you ever saw. His eyes 
blazed like torches. Featherhead's heart died 
within him as he heard the boys say, "Now 
we'll see if we can catch the rascal that eats 
our grain." 

Featherhead tried to slink out of the hole 
he had gnawed to come in by, but found it 
stopped. 

"Oh, you are there, are you, Mister?" cried 
the boy. "Well, you don't get out, and now 
for a chase." 

And sure enough poor Featherhead ran 
with terror up and down through the bundles 
of hay. But the barking terrier was at his 
heels, and the boys shouted and cheered. He 
was glad at last to escape through a crack, 
though he left half of his fine brush behind 
him for Master Wasp, the terrier, made a 
snap at it just as Featherhead was squeezing 
through. Alas ! all the hair was cleaned off so 
that it was as bare as a rat's tail. 

Poor Featherhead limped off, bruised and 
beaten, with the dog and boys still after him, 
and they would have caught him if Tip Chip- 
munk's hole had not stood open to receive him. 



242 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Tip took the best of care of him, but the glory 
of Featherhead's tail had gone forever. From 
that time, though, he was a sadder and a wiser 
squirrel than he ever had been before. 



BUSHY'S BRAVERY 

MR. SQUIRREL was disappointed when he 
peeped his head out of his hollow tree early 
one morning. Not one nut was to be seen on 
the ground. 

"Jack Frost did not come last night. I see 
no nuts anyw r here. It will take a long time 
to get all we need from the tree, I fear," he 
said to Mrs. Squirrel, who was standing close 
beside him. 

"But Jack Frost will come to our tree," she 
said. "He never fails. See, there's Mrs. 
Bushytail out early. She seems .to be looking 
around, too. Perhaps Jack Frost has shaken 
them down for her. Let's run down and see." 

Away frisked Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel as fast 
as their legs could take them, to see what Jack 
Frost had done for their neighbour. But, no, 
he had not visited Mrs. BushytaiPs tree. She 
had looked all over the ground, and there 

243 



244 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

wasn't a nut in sight. She couldn't explain it 
herself. 

"Let us wait until to-morrow morning," said 
Mrs. Squirrel, "he will be sure to come to- 
night. Then what fun Bushy and Frisky will 
have gathering them. They will have to work 
hard to get enough for our winter store. Boys 
love nuts, too," she added with a sigh. "But 
we will wait." 

Morning came and frosty Jack had been 
there in earnest, for the nuts lay all over the 
ground. 

"Now to work," said Father Squirrel. 
"Come, Bushy and Frisky." 

It was a busy day for Mr. Squirrel's family. 
They well knew how many, many nuts are 
needed for the winter's store, and Mr. Squir- 
rel kept telling Bushy and Frisky that they 
would have to work hard, and perhaps until 
the sun went down that day. 

But alas for those little squirrels. "Boys 
love nuts, too," Mrs. Squirrel had said over 
and over again, and when a rustle was heard 
in the bushes behind the trees, and the sound 
of boys' voices came loud and clear, these lit- 



BUSHY'S BRAVERY 245 

tie workers had to take to their heels, and 
whisk up the hollow tree. There they stayed 
trembling with fear. In a few minutes Bushy, 
a little braver than the rest, ventured to peep 
out of a small hole. Frisky stood just back 
of him. 

"Boys three of them and they all have 
bags!" 

Poor Bushy and Frisky. If there was one 
thing that these little squirrels loved to do 
more than another it was to gather nuts and 
now their chance was spoiled, for the boys 
were really there, and would be sure to take 
every nut they could find. 

"They're working hard," said Bushy. 

"Will they leave any for us?" asked Frisky, 
not even daring to peep out. 

"Sh! Listen, Frisky. I heard one of the 
boys say that there are some nuts under the 
other tree. Two of the boys are going there 
now. It's Mrs. Bushytail's tree. But look, 
Frisky, they have left two of the bags." 

"Where, Bushy?" 

"One of the boys is sitting on one of them* 
He is cracking nuts, I think." 



246 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"And the other bag, Bushy?" 

"The other one is close by our tree," and 
before any one could say a word, Bushy was 
out of the hole, down the tree, and close to the 
big bag. Mrs. Squirrel tried to call him back, 
but it was of no use. Up and down the bag 
he ran, first to the top and then to the sides. 
But he could not get in the bag was tied 
tight. But Bushy' s teeth were sharp. 

"Dear, dear," said his mother, "here come 
the boys back, and they will surely see Bushy 
dear, dear." 

Bushy caught sight of the boys coming to- 
ward the tree for their bags, and with a whisk 
and a scamper he was up the tree again and 
into his hole in no time. 

"Dear, dear Bushy," said his mother. 
^What a fright you gave us all. Just see those 
boys. There's no telling what would have 
happened if they had seen you." 

Mr. Squirrel's family watched the boys pick 
up their bags, throw them over their shoul- 
ders and go away. 

"Why, Tom, look at your bag," said one of 
the boys. "It has a hole in it. You must have 



BUSHY'S BRAVERY 247 

lost ever so many nuts along the way." 

"A hole?" asked Tom in surprise, as he 
lifted the bag from his shoulder. "So it has 
and a pretty big one, too. I wonder how it 
ever came there. It wasn't there when 1 
started." 

The boys were gone, and Mr. Squirrel's 
family ventured out once more. 

"It's of no use, I fear," began Mrs. Squirrel; 
"those boys were good workers and dear me, 
here are nuts sprinkled all along the road. 
What does it mean?" asked Mrs. Squirrel. 

"It is strange," said Mr. Squirrel. "I really 
thought those boys had found them all, but 
perhaps boys' eyes are not so sharp as we 
think." 

Bushy kept on gathering the nuts and smil- 
ing to himself. How sly he was. Not one of 
the family seemed to guess the truth. It was 
only when he and Frisky were going to bed 
that night that Frisky dared to whisper, 
"Bushy, did you put that hole in that bag?" 



NUT GATHERERS 

Hark! how they chatter 

Down the dusk Road, 
See them come patter, 

Each with his Load. 

What have you sought, then, 

Gay little Band? 
What have you brought, then, 

Each in his Hand? 

No need to ask it; 

No need to tell; 
In Bag and in Basket 

Your nuts show well! 

Nuts from the wild-wood; 

Sweet Nuts to eat; 
Sweetest in Childhood 

When life is sweet. 

There they go patter, 

Each with his Load ; 
Hark! how they chatter 

Down the dusk Road. 

HAMISH HENDRY. 



248 



IN HARVEST FIELDS 



WHEN THE FROST IS ON THE 

PUMPKIN' 

When the frost is on the punkin' and the fod- 
der's in the shock, 

And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the 
struttin' turkey-cock, 

And the clackin' of the guiney's, and the 
cluckin' of the hens, 

And the rooster's hallylcoyer as he tiptoes on 
the fence, 

O, it's then's the time a feller is a-feelin' at his 
best, 

With the risin' sun to greet him from a night 
of peaceful rest, 

As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes 
out to feed the stock, 

When the frost is on the punkin' and the fod- 
der's in the shock. 

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY. 



250 



ORIGIN OF INDIAN CORN 

ONCE upon a time an Indian chief sat alone 
in his wigwam thinking about the needs of his 
tribe. For more than a year food had been 
very scarce, and they were suffering from a 
scanty fare of roots, herbs, and berries. Many 
of the people had come to him in their misery. 

"We ask you to help us, brave chief," they 
cried. "Will you not entreat the Great Spirit 
to send us some of the food from the Happy 
Hunting Grounds where it is so plentiful? 
See how weak and thin our young braves are. 
Help us or we shall die." 

"I'll go into the depths of the forest," said 
the chief. "There I'll live until the Great 
Spirit tells me how to relieve the misery of 
my people." 

He left his wigwam and walked far into the 
forest, where he waited for several days before 
the Great Spirit spoke these words to him: 

251 



252 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"In the moon of rains take thy family and 
go to the stretch of land which joins this forest. 
Wait there until I send thee a message." 

The chief went back to the Indian village, 
and told what he had heard from the Great 
Spirit. And in the Moon of Rains he called 
together his honoured wife, his fleet-footed 
sons, and his graceful daughter, and said, 
"Follow me to the stretch of land beyond the 
forest." 

When they reached the great plain, they 
stood in a group waiting for a message from 
the Great Spirit. For three suns they stood 
patiently without once changing their positions. 

The Indians of the tribe grew anxious to 
know what had happened to their chief and 
his family, and some of them slipped through 
the wood to the plain where they knew he had 
been directed to go. There they saw the 
group of figures standing with their hands up- 
lifted, and their eyes closed. The Indians 
were filled with awe. 

"The Great Spirit is talking to them," they 
whispered, as they went back to their wig- 
wams. 



ORIGIN OF INDIAN CORN 253 

In a few days they returned to the plain. A 
marvelous sight met their eyes. Instead of 
the chief and his family standing like images 
of sleep, they saw wonderful green plants, tall 
and straight, with broad, flat leaves, and in 
place of uplifted hands they beheld ears of 
corn with silken fringe. 

"The Great -Spirit has called our chief and 
his family to the 'Happy Hunting Grounds,' 
they said, "and has sent us this food as a sym- 
bol of their sacrifice." 

They saved some of the kernels and planted 
them in the fields, and each year when they 
reaped a golden harvest they remembered the 
brave chief whose thoughtful care brought 
them the rich blessing of the Indian corn. 



Sing, O Song of Hiawatha, 

Of the happy days that followed, 

In the land of the Ojibways, 

In the pleasant land and peaceful! 

Sing the mysteries of Mondamin, 

Sing the Blessing of the Corn-fields! 

HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. 



254 



O-NA-TAH: THE SPIRIT OE THE 
CORN-FIELDS 

HARRIET CONVERSE 

O-NA-TAH is the spirit of the corn, and patron- 
ess of the fields. The sun touches her dusky 
face with the blush of the morning, and her 
dark eyes grow soft as the gleam of the stars 
that float on dark streams. Her night-black 
hair flares in the breeze like the wind-driven 
cloud that unveils the sun. As she walks the 
air, draped in her maize, its blossoms plume 
to the sun, and its fringing tassels play with 
the rustling leaves in whispering promises to 
the waiting fields. Night follows O-na-tah's 
dim way with dews, and Day guides the beams 
that leap from the sun to her path. And the 
great Mother Earth loves O-na-tah, who 
brings to her children their life-giving 
grain. 

255 



256 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

At one time O-na-tah had two companions, 
the Spirit of the Bean and the Spirit of the 
Squash. In the olden time when the bean, 
corn, and squash were planted together in the 
hill these three plant spirits were never sepa- 
rated. Each was clothed in the plant which 
she guarded. The Spirit of the Squash was 
crowned with the flaunting gold trumpet blos- 
som of its foliage. The Spirit of the Bean 
was arrayed in the clinging leaves of its wind- 
ing vine, its velvety pods swinging to the 
breeze. 

One day when O-na-tah had wandered 
astray in search of the lost dew, Hah-gweh- 
da-et-gab captured her, and imprisoned her in 
his darkness under the earth. Then he sent 
one of his monsters to blight her fields and the 
Spirit of Squash and the Spirit of Bean fled 
before the blighting winds that pursued them, 
O-na-tah languished in the darkness, lament- 
ing her lost fields. But one day a searching 
sun ray discovered her, and guided her safely 
back to her lands. 

Sad indeed was O-na-tah when she beheld 
the desolation of her blighted fields, and the 



O-NA-TAH 257 

desertion of her companions, Spirit of Squash 
and Spirit of Bean. Bewailing the great 
change, she made a vow that she would never 
leave her fields again. 

If her fields thirst now, she can not leave 
them to summon the dews. When the Flame 
Spirit of the Sun burns the maize O-na-tah 
dare not search the skies for Ga-oh to implore 
him to unleash the winds and fan her lands. 
When great rains fall and blight her fields the 
voice of O-na-tah grows faint and the Sun 
can not hear. Yet faithful she watches and 
guards, never abandoning her fields till the 
maize is ripe. 

When the maize stalk bends low O-na-tah 
is folding the husks to the pearly grains that 
the dew will nourish in their screening shade, 
as they fringe to the sun. 

When the tassels plume, O-na-tah is crown- 
ing the maize with her triumph sign, and the 
rustling leaves spear to the harvest breeze. 



MONDAMIN 

Summer passed and Shawondasee 
Breathed his sighs o'er all the landscape, 
From the South-land sent his ardours, 
Wafted kisses warm and tender; 
And the maize-field grew and ripened, 
Till it stood in all the splendour 
Of its garments green and yellow, 
Of its tassels and its plumage, 
And the maize-ears full of shining 
Gleamed from bursting sheaths of verdure. 
Then Nokomis, the old woman, 
Spake, and said to Minnehaha, 
" 'Tis the Moon when leaves are falling, 
All the wild rice has been gathered, 
And the maize is ripe and ready; 
Let us gather in the harvest, 
Let us wrestle with Mondamin, 
Strip him of his plumes and tassels, 
Of his garments green and yellow." 
And the merry Laughing Water 
Went rejoicing from the wigwam, 
With Nokomis, old and wrinkled, 
And they called the women round them, 
Called the young men and the maidens, 
To the harvest of the corn-fields, 
To the husking of the maize-ear. 

HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. 



THE DISCONTENTED PUMPKIN 

JACK FROST visited Farmer Crane's field one 
night, and the next morning the gold of the 
pumpkins shone more brilliantly than ever 
through their silver coverings. 

"It is of no use," said one large pumpkin to 
another lying beside it. "It is of no use. I 
was never made to be cut up for pumpkin pies. 
I feel I was put here for something higher." 

"Why, what do you mean?" said the other. 
"You never seemed dissatisfied before. You 
quite take my breath away." 

"Well, to tell the truth, I do not like the 
thought of being cut up and served on a table 
like an ordinary pumpkin. See how large I 
am, and what a glorious colour. Tell me, did 
you ever see a pumpkin more beautiful?" 

"You are beautiful, indeed, but I never 
thought of being made for anything but pies. 
Do tell me of what other use can one be?" 

259 



260 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Well, I have always thought that I am 
not like the other pumpkins in this field, and 
when Farmer Crane pointed me out as the 
finest one he had, I heard him say, That 
would be a fine one for a fair.' It was not till 
then that I really knew for what I was in- 
tended." 

"I do remember," answered the other. 
"Yes, I do remember hearing about some 
pumpkins 7 being taken to a county fair once, 
but I never heard how they liked it. As for 
myself, I should be proud to be made into 
delicious pies and served on a beautiful plate." 

"How can you be satisfied with that 
thought? But there is Farmer Crane now. 
He is gathering some of the smaller pumpkins 
to make pies with, I think." 

"Perhaps he knows best what you are 
made for," answered the other. 

Farmer Crane was soon at their side, and 
was looking from one to the other. 

"What fine pies they will make. I had bet- 
ter take them now, I think," he said, and they 
were quickly added to the golden heap already 
on the wagon. 



THE DISCONTENTED PUMPKIN 261 

How happy they all were all but one that 
lay on the top of the large pile. 

"It is hard to be thrown in with these ordi- 
nary pumpkins. If I could only slip off by 
myself. Perhaps there is at least a place at 
the bottom of the wagon where I can be 
alone." 

It was a long way from the top of the pile to 
the bed of the wagon, but it was very little 
trouble to slip away from the rest. It would 
take only a second, and then he could be away 
from the others. But alas! the discontented 
pumpkin slipped a little too far, and I'm sorry 
to say, soon lay on the frozen ground, a shat- 
tered heap. 

"Dear me," said the pumpkins in one 
breath; "see, that fine fellow has slipped off, 
and is broken to pieces. What a feast the cows 
and pigs will have." 

"It is too bad," said one. 

"And he w r as so anxious to be taken to a 
fair," added another. 



Hurrah for the tiny seed ! 
Hurrah for the flower and vine! 
Hurrah for the golden pumpkin; 
[Yellow and plump and fine! 
But better.than all beginnings, 
Sure, nobody can deny, 
Is the end of the whole procession- 
This glorious pumpkin pie! 



262 



BOB WHITE 

I see you on the zig zag rails, 

You cheery little fellow! 
While purple leaves are whirling down, 

And scarlet, brown or yellow. 
I hear you when the air is full 

Of snow-down of the thistle ; 
All in your speckled jacket trim, 

"Bob White! Bob White!" you whistle. 

Tall amber sheaves, in rustling rows, 

Are nodded there to greet you, 
I know that you are out for play 

How I should like to meet you ! 
Though blithe of voice, so shy you are, 

In this delightful weather; 
What splendid playmates, you and I, 

Bob White, would make together. 

There, you are gone! but far away 

I hear your whistle falling, 
Ah ! maybe it is hide and seek, 

And that's why you are calling. 
Along those hazy uplands wide 

We'd be such merry rangers; 
What! silent now and hidden, too? 

Bob White, don't let's be strangers. 

263 



264 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Perhaps you teach your brood the game, 

In yonder rainbowed thicket, 
While winds are playing with the leaves, 

And softly creaks the cricket. 
"Bob White! Bob White!" again I hear 

That blithely whistled chorus, 
Why should we not companions be? 

One Father watches o'er us ! 

GEORGE COOPER. 



THE LITTLE PUMPKIN 

EMMA FLORENCE BUSH. 

ONCE there was a little pumpkin that grew on 
a vine in a field. All day long the sun shone 
on him, and the wind blew gently around him. 
Sometimes the welcome rain fell softly upon 
him, and as the vine sent her roots deep down 
into the earth and drew the good sustenance 
from it, and it flowed through her veins, the 
little pumpkin drank greedily of the good 
juice, and grew bigger and bigger, and 
rounder and rounder, and firmer and firmer. 

By and by he grew so big he understood all 
that the growing things around him were say- 
ing, and he listened eagerly. 

"I came from the seed of a Jack-o'-lantern," 
said this vine to a neighbour, "therefore I must 
grow all Jack-o'-lanterns." 

"So did I," said a neighbour, "but no Jack-o'- 

265 



266 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

lanterns for me. It is too hard a life. I am 
going to grow just plain pumpkins." 

When the little pumpkin heard he was sup- 
posed to be a Jack-o'-lantern, he grew very 
worried, for he could not see that he was in 
any way different from any ordinary pumpkin, 
and if Mother Vine expected him to be a Jack- 
o'-lantern, he did not want to disappoint her. 

At last he grew so unhappy over it that the 
dancing little sunbeams noticed it. "What is 
the matter, little pumpkin?"! they cried. 
"Why do you not hold up your head and look 
around as you used to do?" 

"Because," answered the little pumpkin, 
sadly, "I have to be a Jack-o'-lantern, and I 
don't know how. All I know about is how to 
be a little yellow pumpkin." 

Then the merry little breezes laughed and 
laughed until they shook the vine so that all 
the pumpkins had to tighten their hold not to 
be shaken off. "Oh, little pumpkin!" they 
cried, "why worry about what you will have 
to do later? Just try with all your might to 
be a little yellow pumpkin, and believe that if 
you do the best you can, everything will be all 



THE LITTLE PUMPKIN 267 

right. We know a secret, a beautiful secret, 
and some day we will tell it to you." 

"Oh, tell me now!" cried the little pumpkin, 
but the sunbeams and breezes laughed to- 
gether, and chuckled, 

"Oh no, oh no, oh no ! 
Just grow and grow and grow, 
And some day you will know." 

The little pumpkin felt comforted. "After 
all," he thought, "perhaps if I cannot be a 
Jack-o'-lantern I can be a good pumpkin, and 
I am so far down on the vine perhaps Mother 
Vine won't notice me." He looked around, 
and saw that all his brothers and sisters were 
only little pumpkins, too. 

"Oh, dear," he cried, "are we going to dis- 
appoint Mother Vine? Aren't any of us go- 
ing to be Jack-o'-lanterns?" Then all his little 
brothers and sisters laughed, and said, "What 
do we care about being Jack-o'-lanterns? All 
we care about is to eat the good juice, and 
grow and grow." 

At last came the cold weather, and all the 



268 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

little pumpkins were now big ones, and a beau* 
tiful golden yellow. The biggest and yellow- 
est of all was the little pumpkin who had tried 
so hard all summer to grow into a Jack-o'- 
lantern. He could not believe Mother Vine 
did not see him now, for he had grown so big 
that every one who saw him exclaimed about 
him, and Mother Vine did not seem at all 
disappointed, she just kept at work carrying 
the good food that kept her pumpkin children 
well fed. 

At last one frosty morning, a crowd of chil- 
dren came to the field. "The pumpkins are 
ready," they cried. "The pumpkins are 
ready; and we are going to find the biggest 
and yellowest and nicest to make a Jack-o'-lan- 
tern for the Thanksgiving party. All the 
grandmothers and grandfathers and aunts and 
uncles will see it, and we are going to eat the 
pies made from it." 

They looked here and there, all over the 
field, and pushed aside the vines to see better. 
All at once they saw the little pumpkin. 
"Oh!" they cried, "What a perfect Jack-o'- 
lantern! So big and firm and round and yel- 



THE LITTLE PUMPKIN 269 

low ! This shall be the Jack-o'-lantern for our 
Thanksgiving party, and it is so large there 
will be pie enough for every one." 

Then they picked the pumpkin and carried 
him to the barn. Father cut a hole in the top 
around the stem, lifted it off carefully and 
scooped out the inside, and the children car- 
ried it to mother in the kitchen. Then father 
made eyes and a nose and mouth, and fitted a 
big candle inside. "Oh, see the beautiful Jack- 
o'-lantern!" they cried. 

The little pumpkin waited in the barn. "At 
last I am a Jack-o'-lantern," he said. After 
a time it grew dark, and father came and 
carried him into the house, and lighted the 
candle, and put him right in the middle of the 
table, and all the grandmothers and grand- 
fathers, and aunts and uncles, cried, "Oh, what 
a beautiful, big, round, yellow Jack-o'- lan- 
tern!" 

Then the little pumpkin was happy, for he 
knew Mother Vine would have been proud of 
him, and he shone shone SHONE, until 
the candle was all burned out. 



AUTUMN 

Then came the Autumn all in yellow clad, 
As though he joyed in his plenteous store, 
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full 

glad 

That he had banished hunger, which to-fore 
Had by the body oft him pinched sore: 
Upon his head a wreath, that was enrolled 
With ears of corn of every sort, he bore; 
And in his hand a sickle he did hold, 
To reap the ripen'd fruits the which the eartK 

had yold. 

EDMUND SPENSER. 



270 



CHEERFUL CHIRPERS 



THE NEWS 

The katydids say it as plain as can be 

And the crickets are singing it under the trees; 

In the asters' blue eyes you may read the same 

hint, 

Just as clearly as if you had seen it in print. 
And the corn sighs it, too, as it waves in the 

sun, 
That autumn is here and summer is done. 

PERSIS GARDINER. 



272 



HOW THERE CAME TO BE A 

KATY-DID 

PATTEN BEARD 

LONG, long, long ago so long that this story 
has had time to grow into a garden legend 
two green grasshoppers went out, one fine day, 
to play with a cricket They played tag, .and 
I'm on gypsyland. At last they decided to 
have a game of hide-and-seek. 

The goal was a blade of grass, and they 
counted out to see who should be goal man. 
It fell to the little cricket, Katy-did. She was 
to hide her eyes behind the grassblade, and 
count up to one hundred by tens, while the 
two grasshoppers went off to hide. 

So the cricket hid her face so that she could 
not see, and began : "Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, 
fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety, one hun- 
dred! Coming!" 



From "The Bluebird's Garden." Used by special permis- 
sion of the author and the Pilgrim Press. 

273 



274 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Though there were plenty of good places 
in which to hide in the garden, one green grass- 
hopper had been slow to suit himself. He had 
not yet hidden when the little cricket turned 
about and caught him. 

And he began, "You didn't count up to a 
hundred! I didn't have time to hide! You 
should have hollered, 'Coming!' It's no fair! 
I'm not going to play any more you didn't 
count up to a hundred!" 

At this, the other grasshopper came out of 
hiding. "She did count up to a hundred," he 
said, "Katy did !" 

"Shedidnt'i" 

"She did !" 

"She didn't!" 

"Katy did, did, did !" 

"Katy didn't, didn't, didn't!" 

"Did, did, did!" 

"Didn't, didn't, didn't!" 

"Katydid!" 

"Katy didn't!" 

"She did!" 

"She didn't!" 

"Katydid!" 



A KATYDID 275 

"Katy didn't I" 

To this very, very day, you can hear the dis- 
pute still going on in the garden, and the game 
of tag has never yet been finished. Ever since 
that time the grasshoppers who started the dis- 
cussion have been called katydids, and the 
whole garden is full of the controversy. You 
can hear hundreds of little voices keeping it 
up, though nothing is ever decided. So it 
goes on eternally, Katy did Katy didn't, did, 
did, did, didn't, didn't, she did, she didn't 
for nobody has ever yet settled a dispute by 
contradiction. By this time, too, everyone has 
forgotten what the quarrel was about. 



OLD DAME CRICKET 

Old Dame Cricket, down in a thicket, 
Brought up her children nine, 

Queer little chaps, in glossy black caps 
And brown little suits so fine. 

"My children," she said, 

"The birds are abed: 
Go and make the dark earth glad! 

Chirp while you can!" 

And then she began, 

Till, oh, what a concert they had! 

They hopped with delight, 

They chirped all night, 
Singing, "Cheer up! cheer up! cheer!" 

Old Dame Cricket, 

Down in the thicket, 
Sat awake till dawn to hear. 

"Nice children," she said, 

"And very well bred. 
My darlings have done their best. 

Their naps they must take : 

The birds are awake; 
And they can sing all the rest." 



276 



MISS KATY-DID AND MISS CRICKET 
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE 

MlSS KATY-DlD sat on the branch of a flow- 
ering azalia in her best suit of fine green and 
silver, with wings of point-lace from mother 
nature's finest web. 

Her gallant cousin, Colonel Katy-Did, had 
looked in to make her a morning call. 

"Certainly I am a pretty creature," she said 
to herself when the gallant Colonel said some- 
thing about being dazzled by her beauty. 

"The fact is, my dear Colonel," said Miss 
Katy, "I am thinking of giving a party, and 
you must help me make out the lists." 

"My dear, you make me the happiest of 
Katy-Dids." 

"Now," said Miss Katy, drawing an azalia 
leaf towards her, "let us see whom shall we 
have? The Fireflies are a little unsteady, but 
they are so brilliant, everybody wants them 
and they belong to the higher circles." 

277 



278 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Yes, we must have the Fireflies," said the 
colonel. 

"Well, then and the Butterflies and the 
Moths, now there's the trouble. There are 
so many Moths, and they're so dull. Still if 
you have the Butterflies you can't leave out the 
Moths." 

"Old Mrs. Moth has been ill lately. That 
may keep two or three of the Misses Moth at 
home," said the colonel. 

"I thought she was never sick," said Miss 
Katy-Did. 

"Yes, I understand she and her family ate 
up a whole fur cape last month, and it dis- 
agreed with them." 

"Oh, how can they eat such things as 
worsted and fur?" then sneered Miss Katy- 
Did. 

"By your fairy-like delicacy one can see that 
you couldn't eat such things," smiled the 
colonel. 

"Mamma says she doesn't know what keeps 
me alive. Half a dewdrop and a little bit of 
the nicest part of a rose-leaf often lasts me for 
a day. But to our list. Let's see, the Fire- 



KATY-DID AND CRICKET 279 

flies, Butterflies, Moths. The Bees must 
come, I suppose." 

"The Bees are a worthy family," nodded the 
colonel. 

"Yes, but dreadfully humdrum. They 
never talk about anything but honey and 
housekeeping." 

"Then there are the Bumble Bees." 

"Oh, I dote on them," said Miss Katy-Did. 
"General Bumble is one of the most dashing, 
brilliant fellows of the day." 

"He's shockingly fat!" said the colonel. 

"Yes, he is a little stout," nodded Miss 
Katy-Did, "but he is very elegant in his man- 
ners, something soldierly and breezy about 
him." 

"If you invite the Bumble Bees, you must 
have the Hornets." 

"Ah, they are spiteful, I detest them." 

"Nevertheless, one must not offend the 
Hornets, and how about the Mosquitoes?" 
asked the Colonel. 

"They are very common. Can't one cut 
them?" 

"I think not, my dear Miss Katy. Young 



280 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Mosquito is connected with some of our lead- 
ing papers, and he carries a sharp pen. It 
will never do to offend him." 

"And I suppose one must ask all his dread- 
ful relations, too," sighed Miss Katy. 

At this moment they saw Miss Keziah 
Cricket coming. She carried her workbag on 
her arm, and she asked for a subscription to 
help a poor family of Ants who had just had 
their house hoed up by some one who was 
clearing the garden walks. 

"How stupid of the Ants," said Katy, "not 
to know better than to put their house in a 
garden-walk." 

"Ah, they are in great trouble," said Miss 
Cricket. "Their stores are all destroyed, and 
their father killed cut quite in two by a hoe." 

"How very shocking! I don't like to hear 
such disagreeable things. But I have nothing 
to give. Mamma said yesterday she didn't 
know how our bills were to be paid, and 
there's my green satin with point lace yet to 
come home," said Miss Katy, shrugging her 
shoulders. 

Little Miss Cricket hopped briskly off. 



KATY-DID AND CRICKET 281 

"Poor, extravagant little thing," she said to 
herself. 

"Shall you invite the Crickets?" said Colo-, 
nel Katy-Did. 

"Why, Colonel, what a question! I invite 
the Crickets? No, indeed." 

"And shall you ask the Locusts or the Grass- 
hoppers?" 

"Certainly. The Locusts, of course a very 
old and fine family, and the Grasshoppers are 
pretty well, and ought to be asked. But one 
must draw the line somewhere and the 
Crickets! Why, I can't think of them." 

"I thought they were very nice, respectable 
people," said the colonel. 

"Oh, perfectly nice and respectable, 
but " 

"Do explain, my dear Katy." 

"Why, their colour, to be sure. Don't you 
see?" 

"Oh!" said the colonel. "That's it, is it? 
And tell me, please, who decides what colour 
shall be the reigning colour?" 

"What a question! The only true colour 
the only proper one is our colour to be sure. 



282 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

A lovely pea green is the shade on which to 
found an aristocratic distinction. Of course, 
we are liberal; we associate with the Moths, 
who are gray; with the Butterflies, who are 
blue and gold coloured; with the Grasshop- 
pers, yellow and brown; and society would be- 
come dreadfully mixed if it were not fortu- 
nately ordered that the Crickets are as black as 
jet. The fact is that a class to be looked down 
upon is necessary to all elegant society, and if 
the Crickets were not black we could not keep 
them down. Everybody knows they are often 
a great deal cleverer than we are. They have 
a vast talent for music and dancing; they are 
very quick at learning, and would be getting 
to the very top of the ladder if we allowed 
them to climb. Now, so long as we are green 
and they are black, we have a superiority that 
can never be taken from us. Don't you see 
now?" 

"Oh, yes, I see exactly," said the colonel. 
"Now that Keziah Cricket, who just came in 
here, is quite a musician, and her old father 
plays the violin beautifully; by the way, we 
might engage him for our orchestra." 



KATY-DID AND CRICKET 283 

And so Miss Katy's ball came off. It lasted 
from sundown till daybreak, so that it seemed 
as if every leaf in the forest were alive. The 
Katy-Dids, and the Mosquitoes, and the Lo- 
custs, and a full orchestra of Crickets made the 
air perfectly vibrate. 

Old Parson Too- Whit was shocked at the 
gaieties, which were kept up by the pleasure- 
loving Katy-Dids night after night. 

But about the first of September the cele- 
brated Jack Frost epidemic broke out. Poor 
Miss Katy, with her flimsy green satin, and 
point lace, was one of the first victims, and fell 
from the bough in company with a sad shower 
of last year's leaves. 

The worthy Cricket family, however, 
avoided Jack Frost by moving in time to the 
chimney corner of a nice little cottage that 
had been built in the wood. There good old 
Mr. and Mrs. Cricket, with sprightly Miss 
Keziah and her brothers and sisters, found a 
warm and welcome home. When the storm 
howled without, and lashed the poor, naked 
trees, the crickets on the warm hearth would 
chirp out cheery welcome to the happy family 
in the cottage. (Adapted.) 



THE CRICKET 

Little cricket, full of mirth, 
Chirping on my kitchen hearth; 
Wheresoever be thine abode, 
Always harbinger of good. 
Pay me for thy warm retreat 
With a song more soft and sweet; 
In return thou shalt receive 
Such a strain as I can give. 

WILLIAM COWPER. 



284 



ALL HALLOWE'EN 



SHADOW MARCH 

All around the house is the jet black night, 

It stares through the window-pane, 

It creeps in the corners hiding from the light 

And it moves with the moving flame. 

Now my little heart goes a-beating like a 

drum, 

With the breath of the bogie in my hair, 
While all around the candle the crooked 

shadows come 

And go marching along up the stair. 
The shadow of the baluster, the shadow of the 

light, 

The shadow of the child that goes to bed, 
All the wicked shadows come a tramp, tramp, 

tramp, 
With the black night overhead. 

ROBERT Louis STEVENSON. 



Used by special permission of Charles Scribner and Sons. 



286 



TWINKLING FEET'S HALLOWE'EN 

ONE Hallowe'en a band of merry pixies were 
dancing round and round a bright green ring 
in the meadow. In the center stood the Little 
Fiddler, playing his gayest music, and keep- 
ing time with his head and one tiny foot. The 
faster he played, the merrier the little crea- 
tures danced. What sport it was to twirl and 
twist in time with the fairy music, which the 
jolly little elf brought out from his tiny in- 
strument. No wonder the pixies laughed until 
their sides ached. And so, indeed, did their 
little musician. Sometimes he was obliged to 
stop playing for a few seconds in order to catch 
his breath. 

Now there was one pixie named Twinkling 
Feet who was the best dancer in the ring, and 
he could cut such queer little capers that his 

companions fairly shrieked with laughter when 

287 



288 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

they looked at him. Suddenly he thought 
what sport it would be to play a trick on all 
the little dancers. Very slyly he tripped his 
partner, and the two fell down in the grass, 
dragging with them one pixie after another 
until all in the circle were sprawling on the 
ground. There they lay for several seconds, 
a wriggling mass of green coats and red caps. 
It was some time before they could pick them- 
selves up. Many of them laughed heartily at 
the mishap, but a few were so badly bruised 
that they were obliged to slip away and bathe 
their shins in the evening dew. 
"Who tripped first in the ring?" 
"Who made us fall on our s turn jackets?" 
"Who spoiled our Hallowe'en dance?" 
asked one little pixie after another. 

"Twinkling Feet and I fell first," said the 
best dancer's partner. "I don't know what 
made us tangle our feet, do you?" he asked, 
laughing and turning to his companion. 

But Twinkling Feet's little brown face was 
so drawn and sober that his partner asked 
quickly, "Why, what is the matter with you?" 
"I don't know," said the little elf. 



TWINKLING FEET 289 

"Why, do look at him," cried another 
pixie. 

"Does anything hurt you?" asked several lit- 
tle creatures together. 

"I feel very queer," said Twinkling Feet. 

"Have you what mortals call 'pain?* " asked 
his partner. 

"I don't know what that is, but I feel very, 
very queer. Please ask the Little Fiddler if 
he knows what is the matter with me." 

The group of pixies that had gathered 
around Twinkling Feet moved away in order 
to let the elfin musician come close to the 
queer-looking pixie. The little Fiddler 
gazed steadily at him, shook his white head, 
and said slowly, "A frightful thing has hap- 
pened. Twinkling Feet has lost his laugh!" 

"Lost his laugh!" shrieked all the other lit- 
tle elfs. 

"He has lost his laugh!" repeated the Fid- 
dler Pixie. 

"Lost my laugh," moaned Twinkling Feet. 
"Oh, please tell me what to do." 

"There is nothing to do but go and search 
for it. You can not dance ima pixie ring with- 



290 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

out your laugh, and mark what I say, you must 
find it before midnight." 

"But what if I can't find it?" cried the 
frightened elf. 

"Then you'll be a pixie 'without a laugh 
that is all," declared the Little Fiddler. 

At these awful words every pixie's face grew 
sober. They looked at each other very sol- 
emnly and said, "A pixie without a laugh! 
How terrible!" 

Then one after another they cried out, 
"Search for it, Twinkling Feet. Perhaps 
you'll find it before midnight. Start now. 
Think how sad it will be if you are never able 
to dance in the ring again." 

"Where shall I go, Fiddler Pixie?" asked 
Twinkling Feet. 

"Well, you might ask Jack-o'-Lantern," said 
the musician. "He's been flitting about in the 
meadow all the evening. See, there he goes 
over by the brook." 

Away ran the little pixie as fast as his legs 
could carry him. It was no easy matter to 
come close enough to Jack-o'-Lantern to make 
him hear. Twinkling Feet was almost ready 



TWINKLING FEET 291 

to give up the chase when the little man 
stopped, poked his head out of his lantern, 
and called, "Do you wish to speak to me?" 

"Don't you know me?" cried the pixie. 
"I'm Twinkling Feet." 

"Why, what has happened to you?" asked 
Jack. "You're the queerest looking chap I 



ever saw." 



"I've lost my laugh. Please tell me, Jack- 
o'-Lantern, have you seen it?" 

"Lost your laugh!" repeated the lantern 
man, looking very serious. "No wonder I 
didn't know you. I'm very sorry to say I've 
seen nothing of your laugh." 

"Do you know anyone who could help me, 
Jack?" asked Twinkling- Feet. "Oh do hel- 
me find it." 

"Well, let me see. You might ask Jolly 
Little Witch. Her eyes'are very sharp. She's 
in the ragweed meadow, looking for a good 
riding stalk. As soon as she finds one I'm go- 
ing to light her to the village where she will 
make plenty of merriment at the children's 
party. It's Hallowe'en, you know. Come, 
jump into my lantern, and I'll take you to her." 



292 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Twinkling Feet hopped into the little lan- 
tern, and away they went to the ragweed field. 
When they drew near the Jolly Little Witch 
called out, "I've found a good ragweed stalk, 
Jack, but IVe lost my goggles. Come, per- 
haps you can help me find them. I can't go to 
the village without my goggles. Why, who is 
that in the lantern with you?" 

"A pixie who wants to ask you something," 
said Jack-o'-Lantern, opening the door to let 
Twinkling Feet out. Then the lantern man 
hurried away to search for the witch's gog- 
gles. 

"Please, Jolly Little Witch, I've lost my 
laugh," said Twinkling Feet. 

"Lost your laugh! and on Hallowe'en! 
Well, no wonder I didn't know you. You're 
the queerest looking pixie I ever saw. Tell 
me how you happened to lose your laugh?" 

But Twinkling Feet did not answer her 
question. He said meekly, "Have you seen 
it?" 

"No, my little fellow. I'm sorry to say I've 
not seen your laugh," said the Jolly Little. 
Witch. 



TWINKLING FEET 293 

"A pixie can't dance without his laugh," 
sighed Twinkling Feet. 

"No, of course he can't. Dear, dear! How 
sorry I am for you," said the little witch, shak- 
ing her head. 

"And if a pixie loses anything on Hallow- 
e'en, he must find it before midnight or give 
it up forever." 

"I could have helped you on any other night, 
but you see I always spend Hallowe'en in the 
village with the children. I shall be late to- 
night if I don't find those goggles." And 
again she began to search for them. 

The pixie looked at her for a moment. 
Then he asked, "Do the children laugh a good 
deal on Hallowe'en?" 

"Why, my little man, it's the time in all the 
year when they laugh most. Tonight there 
is to be a witch's party. I shall secretly join 
the children, and play all sorts of tricks for 
their amusement. What a nuisance it is that 
I've lost those goggles." 

"I'll help you search for them, Jolly Little 
Witch," said the pixie. "I suppose I must 
give up my laugh, for I don't know anyone 



294 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

else to ask about it. Please tell me what your 
goggles look like." 

"They are two round glass windows, which 
I wear over my eyes when I ride through the 
air," said the little Witch. 

Away started the pixie to search for them. 
He looked carefully around every ragweed 
stalk in the meadow, but he could see nothing 
which looked like "two round glass windows." 

"Perhaps one cannot find anything which 
has been lost on Hallowe'en," he said to him- 
self. 

Slowly he walked back to the place where 
he had left the Jolly Little Witch. When 
he reached her he stared sharply at something 
on top of her head. 

"Please tell me more about your goggles," 
said Twinkling Feet. "Are they like the two 
glass windows across the front of your hat?" 

"Across the front of my hat!" exclaimed the 
witch, putting her hands up to find out what 
the little elf meant. Then she burst out laugh- 
ing, and said, "Well, well! What strange 
things do happen on Hallowe'en! Come, 
Jack-o'-Lantern! Come! The pixie has 



TWINKLING FEET 295 

found my goggles. They were on top of my 
head all the time!" 

And turning to Twinkling Feet she said, 
"You shall go with us to the village, and see 
the merriment if you like. I'm sure Jack will 
carry you in his lantern." 

"Of course I will," said the lantern man. 
"And while you are playing tricks at the chil- 
dren's party, I'll carry him anywhere he 
wishes to go. It is a long while before mid- 
night." 

"I want to see the children, and hear them 
laugh," said Twinkling Feet. 

The Jolly Little Witch pulled her goggles 
down on her nose, and mounted her ragweed 
stalk. The pixie hopped into the lantern, and 
away through the air the three sailed. 

When they drew near the village, the little 
Witch lowered herself to the ground. 

"Meet me here before the party is over, 
Jack-o'-Lantern," she said. "I shall leave be- 
fore the children take off their masks. In the 
meantime, let Twinkling Feet see the fun the 
children will have on the way to the party." 

Away she ran up the village street to a cor- 



296 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

ner where she joined a group of jolly little 
boys and girls on their way to the party. They 
wore black dresses, high, pointed hats with 
narrow brims, and funny little masks. Not a 
word did anyone speak, but the sound of their 
merry laughter reached Twinkling Feet's ears. 

He slipped out of the lantern, and ran to- 
ward the group of children as fast as he could 
go. Before he reached them, however, the 
tiniest bit of a creature, turning somersaults 
faster than anyone could count, came bounding 
to him. It climbed up the pixie's little body, 
and disappeared into his mouth. Twinkling 
Feet burst into the merriest laugh, and ran 
back to Jack-o'-Lantern, crying out, "I've 
found it! I've found my laugh! My dear 
little laugh! Oh, how happy I am! Jack-o'- 
Lantern, please take me back to the pixie ring. 
I've found my dear little laugh!" 

He hopped into the little man's lantern, and 
away over the fields they flew. As they drew 
near the green ring where the pixies were still 
dancing, the delighted elf called out, "I've 
found my laugh! I've found my dear little 
laugh!" 



TWINKLING FEET 297 

"Welcome back, Twinkling Feet," an- 
swered the dancers. 

He hopped out of the lantern, and joined 
the other merry pixies. When they stopped 
dancing for a little while, the Fiddler Pixie 
slipped up to the Twinkling Feet, and whis- 
pered slyly, "Always watch your laugh care- 
fully while you are dancing.' 3 

Cornish Legend, Adapted. 



JACK-O'-LANTERN 

Here comes a Jack-o'-lantern 

To frighten you to-night; 
Made from a hollow pumpkin 

With a candle for its light. 
Go off! You Jack-o'-lantern! 

You can not frighten me, 
You're nothing but a pumpkin 

As anyone can see! 



THE ELFIN KNIGHT 

THE autumn wind blew sharp and shrill 
around the turrets of a grey stone castle. But 
indoors the fire crackled merrily in my lady's 
bower where an old nurse was telling a tale 
of Elfland to Janet, the fairest of Scotch 
maidens. 

When the story was finished, Janet's merry 
laugh echoed through the halls. The old 
nurse nodded her head earnestly and said, 
" 'Tis well known, my lassie, that the people 
of Elfland revel in the hills and hollows of 
Scotland. Come close, and I'll tell you a se- 
cret." 

Janet leaned forward, and the old woman 
whispered, "An Elfin Knight, named Tarn 
Lin, haunts the moorland on the border of 
your father's estate. No maiden dares ven- 
ture near the enchanted place, for if she should 

fall under the spell of this Elfin Knight she 

299 



300 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

would be obliged to give him a precious jewel 
for a ransom." 

"One glimpse of the Elfin Knight would be 
worth the rarest gem I have," laughed Janet. 
"How I wish I could see him!" 

"Hush-sh!" said her nurse tremblingly. 
"Nay, nay, my lady! Mortals should have 
nothing to do with the people of Elfland. By 
all means shun the moorland at this time of 
the year, for tomorrow is Hallowe'en the 
night when the fairies ride abroad." 

But the next morning Janet bound her 
golden braids about her head, kilted up her 
green kirtle, and tripped lightly to the en- 
chanted moorland. When she came near she 
saw lovely flowers blooming as gaily as if it 
were mid-summer time. She stooped to 
gather some of the roses when suddenly she 
heard the faintest silvery music. She glanced 
around, and there, riding toward her, was the 
handsomest knight she had ever seen. His 
milk-white steed, which sped along lighter 
than the wind, was shod in silver shoes, and 
from the bridle hung tiny silver bells. 

When the knight came near, he sprang 



THE ELFIN KNIGHT 301 

lightly from his horse and said, "Fair Janet, 
tell me why you pluck roses in Elfland?" 

The maiden's heart beat very fast, and the 
flowers dropped from her hands, but she an- 
swered proudly, "I came to see Tam Lin, the 
Elfin Knight." 

"He stands before you," said the knight. 
"Have you come to free him from Elfland?" 

At these words Janet's courage failed, for 
she feared he might cast a spell over her. But 
when the knight saw how she trembled, he 
said, "Have no fear, Lady Janet, and you shall 
hear my story. I am the son of noble parents. 
One day, when I was a lad of nine years, I 
went hunting with my father. Now it chanced 
that we became separated from each other, 
and ill-luck attended me. My good horse 
stumbled, and threw me to the ground where I 
lay stunned by the fall. There the Fairy 
Queen found me, and carried me off to yonder 
green hill. And while it is pleasant enough 
in fairyland, yet I long to live among mortals 
again." 

"Then why do you not ride away to your 
home?" asked Janet. 



302 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Ah, that I can not do unless some fair 
maiden is brave enough to help me. In three 
ways she must prove her courage. First she 
must will to meet me here in the enchanted 
moorland. That you have done," declared the 
knight. Then he stopped, and looked plead- 
ingly at Janet. All her fear vanished, and she 
asked, "In what other ways must the maiden 
show her courage?" 

"She must banish all fear of him. That, 
too, you have done," said the knight. 

"Tell me the third way, Tarn Lin, for I be- 
lieve I am the maid to free you." 

"Only my true love can prove her courage in 
the third way, fair Janet." 

And the maiden answered, "I am thy true 
love, Tarn Lin." 

"Then heed what I say, brave lady. To- 
night is Hallowe'en. At the midnight hour, 
the Fairy Queen and all her knights will ride 
abroad. If you dare win your true love, you 
must wait at Milescross until the Fairy Queen 
and her Elfin Knights pass. I shall be in her 



train." 



"But how shall I know you among so many 



THE ELFIN KNIGHT 303 

knights, Tarn Lin?" then asked Lady Janet. 

"I shall ride in the third group of follow- 
ers. Let the first and second companies of the 
Fairy Queen pass, and look for me in the third. 
There will be only three knights in this last 
company; one will ride on a black horse, one 
on a brown, and the third on a milk-white 
steed," said the knight, pointing to his horse. 
"My right hand will be gloved, Janet," he 
continued, "but my left hand will hang bare 
at my side. By these signs you will know me.' 1 

"I shall know you without fail," nodded 
Janet. 

"Wait, calmly, until I am near you, then 
spring forward and seize me. When the fair- 
ies see you holding me they will change my 
form into many shapes. Do not fear, but hold 
me fast in your arms. At last I shall take my 
human form. If you have courage enough to 
do this, you will free your true love from the 
power of the fairies." 

"I have courage enough to do all that you 
say," declared Janet. Then they sealed this 
promise with a kiss, and parted. 

Gloomy was the night, and eerie was the 



304 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

way to Milescross. But Janet threw her green 
mantle about her shoulders, and sped to the 
enchanted moorland, All the way she said to 
herself over and over, "On this Hallowe'en 
at midnight I shall free rny true love, Tarn 
Lin, from Elfland." 

At Milescross she hid herself and waited. 
How the wind from the sea moaned across the 
moorland! Presently she heard a merry tin- 
kling sound of far-off music, and in the dis- 
tance she saw a twinkling light dancing 
forward. Janet could hear her heart beat, but 
there she stood, undaunted. The Fairy Queen 
and her train were riding forth. In the lead 
of her first merry company of knights and 
maids of honour rode the beautiful queen, 
whose jeweled girdle and crown flashed in the 
darkness. The second group passed quickly, 
and now came three knights in a third group. 
One rode on a black horse, one on a brown, and 
there came the milk-white steed last of all. 
Janet could see that one hand of the rider was 
gloved, and one hung bare at his side. Then 
up leaped the maiden. Quickly she seized the 
bridle of the rnilk-white steed, pulled the 



THE ELFIN KNIGHT 305 

rider from his horse, and threw her green 
mantle around him. There was a clamour 
among the Elfin Knights, and the Fairy Queen 
cried out, "Tarn Lin! Tarn Lin! Some mor- 
tal has hold of Tarn Lin, the bonniest knight 
in my company!" 

Then the strangest things happened. In- 
stead of Tarn Lin, Janet held in her arms a 
bearded lion, which struggled mightily to get 
away. But she remembered the knight's 
warning. "Hold me fast, and fear me not." 

The next moment she held a fire-breathing 
dragon, which almost slipped from her, but 
she tightened her grasp, and thought of Tarn 
Lin's words. The dragon changed to a burn- 
ing bush, and the flames leaped up on all sides, 
but Janet stood still and felt no harm. Then 
in her arms she held a branching tree, filled 
with blossoms. And at last Tarn Lin, her own 
true love, stood there. 

When the Fairy Queen saw that none of her 
enchantments could frighten Janet, she cried 
out angrily, "The maiden has won a stately 
bridegroom who was my bonniest knight. 
Alas! Tarn Lin is lost to Elf land." 



3 o6 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

On into the darkness rode the fairy train. 
Tarn Lin and Lady Janet hastened back to the 
grey stone castle. There, in a short time, a 
wedding feast was prepared, and Tarn Lin, 
who was really a Scottish Earl, and Lady 
Janet, the bravest maid in Scotland, were mar- 
ried. 

Old Ballad Retold. 



THE COURTEOUS PRINCE 

ONCE upon a time a bonnie Prince fell in 
love with a lassie who was nobly born, but was 
not his equal in rank. The king was sorely 
vexed, because his son looked with favour on 
this maiden, and his majesty determined to 
part the lovers. Fie sent the high chancellor 
of the court to an old witch for advice. After 
thinking the matter over for nine days, the old 
woman muttered the following answer: 

"The lassie will I charm away 
'Till courtesy doth win the day." 

"I'm not quite sure what the old hag means," 
said the king. "But if she'll get this maiden 
out of the Prince's sight, I can arrange for his 
marriage with some one of his own rank." 

In a few days the lassie disappeared, and the 
Prince could find no trace of her. He was 

very sad, indeed, and declared if he could not 

307 



3 o8 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

marry his own true love he would remain sin- 
gle all his life. 

It happened one fine day near the end of 
October that the young Prince and a party of 
nobles went hunting. The hounds were soon 
on the track of a fine deer, which was so wily 
and fleet of foot that the nobles, one by one, 
lost track of the quarry, and dropped out of 
the chase. The young Prince, who was a 
famous rider, continued the hunt alone. Miles 
and miles over the low hills he galloped until 
at last in the depths of a wooded glen the ex- 
hausted deer was brought to bay by the 
hounds, and dispatched by the Prince. 

Not until after the prize was won did the 
royal hunter realize how dusky it was in the 
glen, and how threatening the evening sky 
looked. He felt sure he was too far from the 
palace to retrace his journey; besides, he had 
lost all trace of direction. He threw the 
quarry over his steed's back, whistled to his 
hounds, and rode slowly down the wooded val- 
ley, wondering where he could lodge for the 
night. 

"Little sign of hospitality in this lonely 



THE COURTEOUS PRINCE 309 

place," he mused. "Perhaps I'd better make 
the best of it, and find shelter in one of the 
rocky hollows." 

On he rode in the gathering darkness. A 
turn in the valley brought him to a stretch of 
moorland, and a little distance away he saw 
the dark outline of an old, deserted hunting 
hall. 

"A cheerless looking inn," thought the 
Prince. "No doubt one will have to play host 
as well as guest here. However, I have my 
trusty hounds and noble steed for company, 
and the quarry will furnish a good meal for 
all of us." 

He leaped from his horse and walked up to 
the old ruin. With very little effort he broke 
open the door. The creaking of its rusty 
hinges made strange echoings throughout the 
hall. The Prince led his horse into one of the 
small rooms, then with his hounds he went into 
the large dining hall, where he lit a fire on the 
great hearth, and proceeded to cook some veni- 
son for supper. 

While he was waiting for the meat on the 
spit to roast, he listened to the rising wind, 



3 io THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

which moaned about the gloomy old ruin, and 
rattled the doors and windows unceasingly. 
The good steed, in the adjoining room, pawed 
the floor restlessly, and every few moments the 
hounds stretched their heads straight up into 
the air, and whined in a most uncanny way. 

As he mused before the fire, the Prince 
thought, "This is All Hallowe'en, the night 
when ghosts and witches hold their revels. 
Nevertheless, I'd rather be in this deserted 
hall than on the storm-swept moorland." 

He took the roasted meat from the fire, and 
prepared to eat his supper. Suddenly a fierce 
blast of wind burst open a large door at the 
far end of the hall, and into the room stalked 
a tall, ghostly woman. Her lank figure was 
clothed in grey garments, which trailed for 
yards on the floor. Her long, grey hair hung 
loose down her back. By the light of the flick- 
ering fire the Prince could see her hollow eyes 
and wan features. He was a brave man, but 
this ghostly creature filled him with dread and 
horror. The hounds dropped their bones of 
venison, and crept close to their master, who 
was unable to utter a word. 



THE COURTEOUS PRINCE 311 

Slowly down the hall the grey ghost glided 
to the Prince, and pointing a long, bony finger 
at him, she asked in a hollow voice, "Art thou 
a courteous knight?" 

In a trembling voice the Prince an- 
swered, "I will serve thee. What dost thou 
wish?" 

"Go ye to the moorland, and pluck enough 
heather to make a bed in the turret-room for 
me," said the phantom-like figure. 

It was a strange request to make, but the 
Prince was relieved to have any excuse to get 
out of her sight. He sprang quickly to his 
feet, and hurried out to face the stormy night 
in search of heather. He plucked as much as 
he could carry in his plaid, and returned to 
the hall where the ghostly visitor was waiting 
for him. She led the way down the room, and 
up a half-ruined staircase to the turret-room. 
Here the Prince spread a heather bed for her, 
and covered it with his plaid. When it was 
finished she pointed to the door, and dismissed 
him. 

"May you sleep well," said the Prince cour- 
teously. Then, cold and weary, he descended 



3 i2 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

to the hall, and lay down to sleep in front of 
the dying embers of the fire. 

When he awakened the bright sun was 
shining in the windows. 

The Prince lost no time in making ready to 
depart, for he remembered quite well the 
ghostly visitor of the past night. 

"No doubt she departed before the crowing 
of the cock," he said. "I wonder if she left 
my bonnie plaid in the turret room. The 
autumn air is keen and biting. I'll go and 



see." 



He ran quickly up the ruined staircase. To 
his surprise when he reached the top, the door 
of the chamber opened, and there before him 
stood his lost sweetheart. 

"How earnest thou here?" gasped the 
Prince. "And where is the grey ghost." 

"Last night I was the grey ghost," she 
said. 

"And thou wilt change thy form again to- 
night?" he asked in horror. 

"Never again," said the maiden. "In order 
to part us a wicked witch threw a spell over 
me a spell which changed me into the awful 



THE COURTEOUS PRINCE 313 

shape thou sawest last night. But thou hast 
broken her wicked charm." 

'Tell me how," said the Prince, whose face 
was beaming with happiness. 

"The witch's charm could not be broken 
until some knight should serve me, even 
though my form was horrible. By thy cour- 
tesy thou hast broken the spell," said the 
maiden. 

So the Prince and his true love rode away, 
and were happily married, and when the king 
heard of his son's adventure in the hunting 
hall he said, "Now I know what that old witch 
meant by her prophecy." 

J r J Scotch legend. 



JACK-O'-LANTERN SONG 



Upon one wild and windy night 



Woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo 
We Jacks our lanterns all did light; 
The wind it surely knew FOR- 



Whistle and whistle and whist! Now list! 

Woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo 

Whirling* and twirling, with turn and twist, 

The wind it softly blew. 

It was the creepiest, scariest night 

Woo-oo,.woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo, 

We held our breath, then lost it quite; 
The wind it surely knew FOR 



Whistle and whistle and whist! Now list! 

Woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo 

Whirling and twirling, with turn and twist, 

The wind it loudly blew. 

It rose in all its main and might 

Woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo 

It blew out every single light; 

The Wind it surely knew FOR 

314 



JACK-O'-LANTERN SONG 315 

Whistle and whistle and whist! Now list! 

Woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo 

Whirling and twirling, with turn and twist, 

That wind it laughed Ho-oht 



A HARVEST OF THANKSGIVING 

STORIES 



These are things I prize 

And hold of dearest worth: 

Light of the sapphire skies, 

Peace of the silent hills, 
Shelter of forests, comfort of the grass, 
Music of birds, murmur of little rills, 
Shadow of clouds that swiftly pass, 

And, after showers, 

The smell of flowers 

And of the good brown earth, 

And best of all, along the way, friendship and 
mirth. 

So let me keep 

These treasures of the humble heart 
In true possession, owning them by love. 

HENRY VAN DYKE. 

(Selection from God of the Open Air.) 

Used by permission and special arrangement with Chas. 
Scribner and Sons. 



THE QUEER LITTLE BAKER MAN 
PHILA BUTLER BOWMAN 

ALL the children were glad when the Little 
Baker came to town and hung the sign above 
his queer little brown shop, 

"Thanksgiving Loaves to Sell." 

Each child ran to tell the news to another 
child until soon the streets echoed with the 
sound of many running feet, and the clear 
November air was full of the sound of happy 
laughter, as a crowd of little children thronged 
as near as they dared to the Little Baker's 
shop, while the boldest crept so close that they 
could feel the heat from the big brick oven, 
and see the gleaming rows of baker's pans. 

The Little Baker never said a word. He 
washed his hands at the windmill water spout 

319 



320 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

and dried them, waving them in the crisp air. 
Then he unfolded a long, spotless table, and 
setting it up before his shop door, he began to 
mold the loaves, while the wondering children 
grew nearer and nearer to watch him. 

He molded big, long loaves, and tiny, round 
loaves; wee loaves rilled with currants, square 
loaves with queer markings on them, fat 
loaves and flat loaves, and loaves in shapes 
such as the children had never seen before, 
and always as he molded he sang a soft tune 
to these words : 

"Buy my loaves of brown and white, 
Molded for the child's delight. 
Who forgets another's need, 
Eats unthankful and in greed; 
But the child who breaks his bread 
With another, Love has fed." 

By and by the children began to whisper to 
each other. 

"I shall buy that very biggest loaf," said the 
Biggest Boy. "Mother lets me buy what I 
wish. I shall eat it alone, which is fair if I 
pay for it." 



QUEER LITTLE BAKER MAN 321 

"Oh," said the Tiniest Little Girl, "that 
would be greedy. You could never eat so big 
a loaf alone." 

"If I pay for it, it is mine," said the Big- 
gest Boy, boastfully, "and one need not share 
what is his own unless he wishes." 

"Oh," said the Tiniest Little Girl, but she 
said it more softly this time, and she drew 
away from the Biggest Boy, and looked at him 
with eyes that had grown big and round. 

"I have a penny," she said to the Little 
Lame Boy, "and you and I can have one of 
those wee loaves together. They have cur- 
rants in them, so we shall not mind if the loaf 
is small." 

"No, indeed," said the Little Lame Boy, 
whose face had grown wistful when the Big- 
gest Boy had talked of the great loaf. "No, 
indeed, but you shall take the bigger piece." 

Then the little Baker Man raked out the 
bright coals from the great oven into an iron 
basket, and he put in the loaves, every one, 
while the children crowded closer with eager 
faces. 

When the last loaf was in, he shut the oven 



322 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

door with a clang so loud and merry that the 
children broke into a shout of laughter. 

Then the Queer Little Baker Man came 
and stood in his tent door, and he was smiling, 
and he sang again a merry little tune to these 
words : 

"Clang, clang, my oven floor, 
My loaves will bake as oft before, 
And you may play where shines the sun 
Until each loaf is brown and done." 

Then away ran the children, laughing, and 
looking at the door of the shop where the 
Queer Little Baker stood, and where the 
raked-out coals, bursting at times, cast long, 
red lights against the brown wall, and as they 
ran they sang together the Queer Little Bak- 
er's merry song: 

"Clang, clang, my oven floor, 
The loaves will bake as oft before." 

Then some played at hide-and-seek among 
the sheaves of ungarnered corn, and some ran 
gleefully through the heaped-up leaves of rus- 



QUEER LITTLE BAKER MAN 323 

set and gold for joy to hear them rustling. 
But some, eager, returned home for pennies to 
buy a loaf when the Queer Little Baker should 
call. 

"The loaves are ready, white and brown, 
For every little child in town, 
Come buy Thanksgiving loaves and eat, 
But only Love can make them sweet." 

Soon all the air was filled with the sound 
of the swift running feet, as the children flew 
like a cloud of leaves blown by the wind in 
answer to the Queer Little Baker's call. 
When they came to his shop they paused, 
laughing and whispering, as the Little Baker 
laid out the loaves on the spotless table. 

"This is mine," said the Biggest Boy, and 
laying down a silver coin he snatched the great 
loaf, and ran away to break it by himself. 

Then came the Impatient Boy, crying: 
"Give me my loaf. This is mine, and give it 
to me at once. Do you not see my coin is sil- 
ver? Do not keep me waiting*" 

The Little Baker never said a word. He 
did not smile, he did not frown, he did not 



324 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

hurry. He gave the Impatient Boy his loaf 
and watched him, as he, too, hurried away to 
eat his loaf alone. 

Then came others, crowding, pushing with 
their money, the strongest and rudest gaining 
first place, and snatching each a loaf they ran 
off to eat without a word of thanks, while some 
very little children looked on wistfully, not 
able even to gain a place. All this time the 
Queer Little Baker kept steadily on laying out 
the beautiful loaves on the spotless table. 

A Gentle Lad came, when the crowd grew 
less, and giving all the pennies he had he 
bought loaves for all the little ones; so that by 
and by no one was without a loaf. The Tiniest 
Little Girl went away hand in hand with the 
Little Lame Boy to share his wee loaf, and 
both were smiling, and whoever broke one of 
those smallest loaves found it larger than it 
had seemed at first. 

But now the biggest Boy was beginning to 
frown. 

"This loaf is sour," he said angrily. 

"But is it not your own loaf," said the 
Baker, "and did you not choose it yourself, 



QUEER LITTLE BAKER MAN 325 

and choose to eat it alone? Do not complain 
of the loaf since it is your own choosing.' 7 

Then those who had snatched the loaves un- 
gratefully and hurried away, without waiting 
for a word of thanks, came back. 

"We came for good bread," they cried, "but 
those loaves are sodden and heavy." 

"See the lad there with all those children. 
His bread is light. Give us, too, light bread 
and sweet." 

But the Baker smiled a strange smile. "You 
chose in haste," he said, "as those choose who 
have no thought in sharing. I can not change 
your loaves. I can not choose for you. Had 
you, buying, forgotten that mine are Thanks- 
giving loaves? I shall come again; then you 
can buy more wisely." 

Then these children went away thought- 
fully. 

But the very little children and the Gentle 
Lad sat eating their bread with joyous laugh- 
ter, and each tiny loaf was broken into many 
pieces as they shared with each other, and to 
them the bread was as fine as cake and as sweet 
as honey. 



326 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Then the Queer Little Baker brought cold 
water and put out the fire. He folded his 
spotless table, and took down the boards of his 
little brown shop, packed all into his wagon, 
and drove away singing a quaint tune. Soft 
winds rustled the corn, and swept the boughs 
together with a musical chuckling. And 
where the brown leaves were piled thickest, 
making a little mound, sat the Tiniest Little 
Girl and the Little Lame Boy, eating their 
sweet currant loaf happily together. 



A TURKEY FOR THE STUFFING 

KATHERINE GRACE HULBERT 

IT always made Ben feel solemn to watch the 
river in a storm. To-day it was grey, and 
rough and noisy, and the few boats, which 
went down toward Lake Huron, pitched about 
so that their decks slanted first one way, then 
another, and their sides were coated with ice. 

"Gran'ma, what day's to-day?" he asked at 
last, turning from the stormy river to glance 
about their warm, comfortable little room. 

"Wednesday, Benny," answered the small 
old woman who crouched over the stove. 

"Then to-morrow will be Thanksgiving day, 
and the Rosses are going to have a turkey, 7 ' 
said Ben, excitedly. "What are we going to 
have, Gran'ma?" 

Mrs. Moxon looked over her glasses at her 
grandson's small, thin figure in its patched and 
faded clothes, and at his bright, eager face. 

"Sonny, dear, what do you think Gran'ma 

has for Thanksgiving?" she asked gently. 

327 



328 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

The expectant look faded from Ben's face, 
and he winked hard to keep the tears from 
running over. He did not need to be told how 
bare of dainties their cupboard was, for every- 
thing there he had brought with his own 
hands. Bacon and smoked fish enough for all 
winter were stored away; flour, potatoes, and 
a few other vegetables were there. 

"Tell me about a real Thanksgiving din- 
ner," the small boy begged after the first dis- 
appointment had been bravely put away. 
Mrs. Moxon took off her spectacles, and 
leaned back cautiously in her broken- rockered 
chair. 

"I remember one Thanksgiving when 
your pa was alive, we had a dinner fit for a 
king. There was a ten-pound turkey, with 
bread stuffing. I put the sage and onions into 
the stuffing with my own hands." 

"We could have some stuffing," interrupted 
Ben, eagerly. 

"So we could, sonny, so we could. It takes 
you to think of things," and Mrs. Moxon af- 
fectionately patted the little brown hand on 
her knee. "It never would 'a' come to me 



A TURKEY FOR THE STUFFING 329 

that we might have turkey stuffing even if we 
didn't have any turkey." 

Ben beamed with delight at this praise. 
"And was there anything else besides the tur- 
key and the stuffing, Gran'ma?" 

"Land, yes, child. There was turnips, and 
mashed potatoes and mince pie, and your pa 
got two pounds of grapes, though grapes was 
expensive at that time o' year. Yes, nobody 
could ask for a better dinner than that was." 

"We could have one just like it, all but the 
turkey and the mince pie and the grapes," said 
Ben hopefully. 

"So we can, and will, too, child," answered 
the old woman. "Trust you for making the 
best of things," and the two smiled at each 
other happily. 

Next morning Ben watched his grand- 
mother add an egg, some sage and chopped 
onion to a bowlful of dry bread, pour boiling 
water over it, and put the mixture in the oven. 

"Your father said I made the best turkey 
stuffing he ever ate," she said with satisfac- 
tion. "We'll see how it comes out, Benny." 

"I can't hardly wait till dinner-time," Ben 



330 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

said, with an excited skip. "I b'lieve I'll go 
down to the beach, and pick up driftwood for 
a while. You call me when the things are 
most cooked, Gran'ma." 

The storm of the day before had left many 
a bit of board or end of a log on the beach 
that would be just the thing for Mrs. Moxon's 
stove. Ben worked so hard that he did not 
notice a big barge that was corning slowly 
down the river, towing two other boats be- 
hind it, until he heard a voice ask: 

"Hullo, kid! What makes you work so 
hard on Thanksgiving day?" 

Then he straightened up, to see the boat's 
captain standing near its pilot house, and 
shouting through a great trumpet. 

"I'm waiting for dinner to cook," Ben an- 
swered in his piping voice. 

"Can't hear you !" roared the captain. "Run 
home and get your horn, and talk to me." 

Ben ran up the little hill to Mrs. Ross's, and 
borrowed her trumpet, or megaphone. One's 
voice sounds much louder when these are used, 
and they are to be found at every house on the 
shores of the St. Mary's, for the people on the 



A TURKEY FOR THE STUFFING 331 

boats, and those on the land, often want to say, 
"How do you do?" to each other. It was all 
Ben could do to hold the great tin trumpet 
on straight, for it was nearly as long as he was. 

"I'm waiting for dinner to cook," the boy 
shouted again, and this time the captain heard 
him. 

"Going to have turkey, I suppose?" the cap- 
tain asked. 

"No, but we're going to have turkey stuf- 
fing," answered Ben with pride. 

"Turkey stuffing, but no turkey! If that 
isn't the best I ever heard!" The captain had 
dropped his trumpet, and doubled up with 
sudden laughter. Luckily Ben did not hear. 
"What else are you going to have?" he called 
when he had repeated the joke about him. 
"Mince pie without any mince meat?" 

"No, sir!" Ben's voice was shrill, but clear. 
"My father had mince pie for Thanksgiving 
dinner once, though." 

"Did, did he?" The captain dropped his 
trumpet again. "That boy's all right," he said 
to the first mate. "He's too plucky to be 
laughed at. I'm going to send him some tur- 



332 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

key for his stuffing, Morgan. Tell the cook 
to get ready half a turkey and a mince pie, and 
say, Morgan, have him send up one of those 
small baskets of grapes. We'll tie them to a 
piece of plank, and they'll float ashore all 
right. Tell the cook to hurry, or we'll be too 
far downstream for the boy to get the things." 
Then he raised his trumpet again. 

"Say, kid, can you row that boat that's tied 
to your dock?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well, you hurry out into the river, and I'll 
put off a float with some things for your 
Thanksgiving dinner. You're going to have 
some turkey for that stuffing." 

You may be sure Ben lost no time in push- 
ing the rowboat off into the stream, where the 
end of a plank and its delicious load were soon 
bobbing up and down on the water. How he 
did smack his lips when he lifted them into the 
boat, and how pleased he was for grandma! 

"First the stuffing, and then the turkey! 
My, ain't I lucky?" He did not know that 
the captain had said he was plucky, and that 
luck is very apt to follow pluck. 



PUMPKIN PIE 

Through sun and shower the pumpkin grew, 
When the days were long and the skies were 
blue. 

And it felt quite vain when its giant size 
Was such that it carried away the prize 

At the County Fair, when the people came, 
And it wore a ticket and bore a name. 

Alas for the pumpkin's pride! One day 
A boy and his mother took it away. 

It was pared and sliced and pounded and 

stewed, 
And the way it was treated was hard and rude. 

It was sprinkled with sugar and seasoned with 

spice, 
The boy and his mother pronounced it nice. 

It was served in a paste, it was baked and 

browned, 
And at last on a pantry shelf was found. 

333 



334 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

And on Thursday John, Mary, and Mabel 
Will see it on aunty's laden table. 

For the pumpkin grew 'neath a summer sky 
Just to turn at Thanksgiving into pie! 

MARY MAPES DODGE. 



MRS. NOVEMBER'S DINNER PARTY* 

BY AGNES CARR 

THE Widow November was very busy indeed 
this year. What with elections and harvest 
homes, her hands were full to overflowing; for 
she takes great interest in politics, besides be- 
ing a social body, without whom no apple bee 
or corn husking is complete. 

Still, worn out as she was, when her thirty 
sons and daughters clustered round, and 
begged that they might have their usual fam- 
ily dinner on Thanksgiving day, she could not 
find it in her hospitable heart to refuse, and 
immediately invitations were sent to her eleven 
brothers and sisters, old Father Time, and 
Mother Year, to come with all their families 
and celebrate the great American holiday. 

Then what a busy time ensued! What a 
slaughter of unhappy barnyard families tur- 



*From Harper's Young People, November, 1883. 

335 



336 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

keys, ducks, and chickens ! What a chopping 
of apples and boiling of doughnuts ! What a 
picking of raisins and rolling of pie crust, 
until every nook and corner of the immense 
storeroom was stocked with "savoury mince 
and toothsome pumpkin pies," while so great 
was the confusion that even the stolid red- 
hued servant, Indian Summer, lost his head, 
and smoked so continually he always appeared 
surrounded by a blue mist, as he piled logs 
upon the great bonfires in the yard, until they 
lighted up the whole country for miles 
around. 

But at length all was ready; the happy days 
had come, and all the little Novembers, in 
their best "bib and tucker," were seated in a 
row, awaiting the arrival of their uncles, 
aunts, and cousins, while their mother, in rus- 
set-brown silk trimmed with misty lace, looked 
them over, straightening Guy Fawkes' collar, 
tying Thanksgiving's neck ribbon, and settling 
a dispute between two little presidential can- 
didates as to which should sit at the head of 
the table. 

Soon a merry clashing of bells, blowing of 



MRS. NOVEMBER'S PARTY 337 

Horns, and mingling of voices were heard out- 
side, sleighs and carriages dashed up to the 
door, and in came, "just in season," Grandpa 
Time, with Grandma Year leaning on his arm, 
followed by all their children and grandchil- 
dren, and were warmly welcomed by the 
hostess and her family. 

"Oh, how glad I am we could all come 
to-day!" said Mr. January, in his crisp, clear 
tones, throwing off his great fur coat, and rush- 
ing to the blazing fire. "There is nothing like 
the happy returns of these days." 

"Nothing, indeed," simpered Mrs. Feb- 
ruary, the poetess. "If I had had time I 
should have composed some verses for the oc- 
casion; but my son Valentine has brought a 
sugar heart, with a sweet sentiment on it, to 
his cousin Thanksgiving. I, too, have taken 
the liberty of bringing a sort of adopted child 
of mine, young Leap Year, who makes us a 
visit every four years." 

"He is very welcome, I am sure," said Mrs. 
November, patting Leap Year kindly on the 
head. "And, Sister March, how have you 
been since we last met?" 



338 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Oh! we have had the North, South, East, 
and West Winds all at our house, and they 
have kept things breezy, I assure you. But I 
really feared we should not get here to-day; 
for when we came to dress I found nearly 
everything we had was lent; so that must ac- 
count for our shabby appearance." 

"He! he! he!" tittered little April Fool. 
"What a sell !" And he shook until the bells 
on his cap rang; at which his father ceased 
for a moment showering kisses on his nieces 
and nephews, and boxed his ears for his rude- 
ness. 

"Oh, Aunt May! do tell us a story," clam- 
oured the younger children, and dragging her 
into a corner she was soon deep in such a mov- 
ing tale that they were all melted to tears, espe- 
cially the little Aprils, who cry very easily. 

Meanwhile, Mrs. June, assisted by her 
youngest daughter, a "sweet girl graduate," 
just from school, was engaged in decking the 
apartment with roses and lilies and other 
fragrant flowers that she had brought from her 
extensive gardens and conservatories, until the 
room was a perfect bower of sweetness and 



MRS. NOVEMBER'S PARTY 339 

beauty; while Mr. July draped the walls with 
flags and banners, lighted the candles, and 
showed off the tricks of his pet eagle, Yankee 
Doodle, to the great delight of the little ones. 

Madam August, who suffers a great deal 
with the heat, found a seat on a comfortable 
sofa, as far from the fire as possible, and 
waved a huge feather fan back and forth, while 
her thirty-one boys and girls, led by the two 
oldest, Holiday and Vacation, ran riot through 
the long rooms, picking at their Aunt June's 
flowers, and playing all sorts of pranks, re- 
gardless of tumbled hair and torn clothes, 
while they shouted, "Hurrah for fun!" and 
behaved like a pack of wild colts let loose in 
a green pasture, until their Uncle September 
called them, together with his own children, 
into the library, and persuaded them to read 
some of the books with which the shelves were 
filled, or play quietly \vith the game of Au- 
thors and the Dissected Maps. 

"For," said Mr. September to Mrs. Oc- 
tober, "I think Sister August lets her chil- 
dren romp too much. I always like improving 
games for mine, although I have great trouble 



340 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

in making Equinox toe the line as he should." 
"That is because you are a schoolmaster," 
laughed Mrs. October, shaking her head, 
adorned with a wreath of gaily tinted leaves; 
"but where is my baby?" 

At that moment a cry was heard without, 
and Indian Summer came running in to say 
that little All Hallows had fallen into a tub 
of water while trying to catch an apple that 
was floating on top, and Mrs. October, rush- 
ing off to the kitchen, returned with her young- 
est in a very wet and dripping condition, and 
screaming at the top of his lusty little lungs. 
He could only be consoled by a handful of 
chestnuts, which his nurse, Miss Frost, cracked 
open for him. 

The little Novembers, meanwhile, were 
having a charming time with their favourite 
cousins, the Decembers, who were always so 
gay and jolly, and had such a delightful papa. 
He came with his pockets stuffed full of toys 
and sugarplums, which he drew out from time 
to time, and gave to his best-loved child, 
Merry Christmas, to distribute amongst the 



MRS. NOVEMBER'S PARTY 341 

children, who gathered eagerly around their 
little cousin, saying: 

"Christmas comes but once a year, 
But when she comes she brings good cheer." 

At which Merry laughed gaily, and tossed her 
golden curls, in which were twined sprays of 
holly and clusters of brilliant scarlet berries. 
At last the great folding-doors were thrown 
open. Indian summer announced that din- 
ner was served, and a long procession of old 
and young was quickly formed, and led by 
Mrs. November and her daughter Thanksgiv- 
ing, whose birthday it was. They filed into the 
spacious dining-room, where stood the long 
table, groaning beneath its weight of good 
things, while four servants ran continually in 
and out bringing more substantiate and deli- 
cacies to grace the board and please the appe- 
tite. Winter staggered beneath great trench- 
ers of meat and poultry, pies, and puddings; 
Spring brought the earliest and freshest vege- 
tables; Summer, the richest creams and ices; 
while Autumn served the guests with fruit, 
and poured the sparkling wine. 



342 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

All were gay and jolly, and many a joke 
was cracked as the contents of each plate and 
dish melted away like snow before the sun, 
and the great fires roared in the wide chim- 
neys as though singing a glad Thanksgiving 
song. 

New Year drank everybody's health, and 
wished them "many returns of the day," while 
Twelfth Night ate so much cake he made him- 
self quite ill, and had to be put to bed. 

Valentine sent mottoes to all the little girls, 
and praised their bright eyes and glossy curls. 
"For," said his mother, "he is a sad flatterer, 
and not nearly so truthful, I am sorry to say, as 
his brother, George Washington, who never 
told a lie." 

At which Grandfather Time gave George 
a quarter, and said he should always remember 
what a good boy he was. 

After dinner the fun increased, all trying 
to do something for the general amusement. 
Mrs. March persuaded her son, St. Patrick, to 
dance an Irish Jig, which he did to the tune 
of the "Wearing of the Green," which his 



MRS. NOVEMBER'S PARTY 343 

brothers, Windy and Gusty, blew and whistled 
on their fingers. 

Easter sang a beautiful song, the little Mays, 
"tripped the light fantastic toe" in a pretty 
fancy dance, while the Junes sat by so smiling 
and sweet it was a pleasure to look at them. 

Independence, the fourth child of Mr. July, 
who is a bold little fellow, and a fine speaker ? 
gave them an oration he had learned at 
school; and the Augusts suggested games of 
tag and blindman's buff, which they all en- 
joyed heartily. 

Mr. September tried to read an instructive 
story aloud, but was interrupted by Equinox, 
April Fool, and little All Hallows, who 
pinned streamers to his coat tails, covered him 
with flour, and would not let him get through 
a line; at which Mrs. October hugged her 
tricksy baby, and laughed until she cried, and 
Mr. September retired in disgust. 

"That is almost too bad," said Mrs. Novem- 
ber, as she shook the popper vigorously in 
which the corn was popping and snapping 
merrily; "but, Thanksgiving, you must not 



344 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

forget to thank your cousins for all they have 
done to honour your birthday." 

At which the demure little maiden went 
round to each one, and returned her thanks 
in such a charming way it was quite captivat- 
ing. 

Grandmother Year at last began to nod over 
her teacup in the chimney corner. 

"It is growing late," said Grandpa Time. 

"But we must have a Virginia Reel before 
we go," said Mr. December. 

"Oh, yes, yes!" cried all the children. 

Merry Christmas played a lively air on the 
piano, and old and young took their posi- 
tions on the polished floor with grandpa and 
grandma at the head. 

Midsummer danced with Happy New 
Year, June's Commencement with August's 
Holiday, Leap Year with May Day, and all 
"went merry as a marriage bell." 

The fun was at its height when suddenly the 
clock in the corner struck twelve. Grandma 
Year motioned all to stop, and Grandfather 
Time, bowing his head, said softly, "Hark! 
my children, Thanksgiving Day is ended." 



THE DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 

ISABEL GORDON CURTIS 

"I GUESS you can get the ell roof shingled 
now, 'most any old time," cried Homer Tidd. 
He bounced in at the kitchen door. A blast 
of icy wind followed him. 

"Gracious! shet the door, Homer, an' then 
tell me your news." His mother shivered and 
pulled a little brown shawl tighter about her 
shoulders. The boy planted himself behind 
the stove and laid his mittened hands com- 
fortably around the pipe. "Oh, IVe made a 
great deal, Mother." Homer's freckled face 
glowed with satisfaction. 

"What?" asked Mrs. Tidd. 

"Did you see the man that jest druv out o' 
the yard?" 

"No, I didn't, Homer." 



Used by permission of St. Nicholas. 

345 



346 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Well, 'twas Mr. Richards the Mr. Rich- 
ards o' Finch & Richards, the big market folks 
over in the city." 

"Has he bought your Thanksgivin' tur- 
keys?" 

"He hain't bought 'em for ThanksgivinV 

"Well, what are you so set up about, boy?" 

"He's rented the hull flock. He's to pay 
me three dollars a day for them, then he's 
goin' to buy them all for Christmas." 

"Land sakes! Three dollars a day." Mrs. 
Tidd dropped one side of a pan of apples she 
was carrying, and some of them went rolling 
about the kitchen floor. 

Homer nodded. 

"For how long?" she asked eagerly. 

"For a week." Homer's freckles disap- 
peared in the crimson glow of enthusiasm that 
overspread his face. 

"Eighteen dollars for nothin' but exhibitin' 
a bunch o' turkeys! Seems to me some folks 
must have money to throw away." Mrs. Tidd 
stared perplexedly over the top of her glasses. 

"I'll tell you all about it, Mother." Homer 
took a chair and planted his feet on the edge 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 347 

of the oven. "Mr. Richards is goin' to have 
a great Thanksgivin' food show, an' he wants 
a flock o' live turkeys. He's been drivin' round 
the country lookin' for some. The postmaster 
sent him here. He told him about Dan'l Web- 
ster's tricks." 

"They don't make Dan'l any better eatin'," 
objected his mother. 

"Maybe not. But don't you see? Well!" 

Homer's laugh was an embarrassed one. 
"I'm goin' to put Dan'l an' Gettysburg through 
their tricks right in the store window." 

"You ben't?" and the mother looked in rapt 
admiration at her clever son. 

"I be!" answered Homer, triumphantly. 

"I don't know, boy, jest what I think o' it," 
said his mother, slowly. " 'Tain't exactly a 
a gentlemanly sort o' thing to do; be it?" 

"I reckon I ben't a gentleman, Mother," re- 
plied Homer, with his jolly laugh. 

"Tell me all about it." 

"Well, I was feedin' the turkeys when Mr. 
Richards druv in. He said he heered I had 
some trick turkeys, an' he'd like to see 'em. 
Lucky enough, I hadn't fed 'em; they was 



348 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

awful hungry, an' I tell you they never did 
their tricks better." 

"What did Mr. Richards say?" 

"He thought it was the most amazin' thing 
he'd ever seen in his life. He said he wouldn't 
have believed turkeys had enough gumption in 
them to learn a trick o' any kind." 

"Did you tell him how you'd fussed with 
them ever since they was little chicks?" 

"I did. He wuz real interested, an' he of- 
fered me three dollars to give a show three 
times a day. He's got a window half as big 
as this kitchen. He'll have it wired in, an 1 
the turkeys'll stay there at his expense. Along 
before Christmas he'll give me twenty-two 
cents a pound for 'em." 

"Well, I vow, Homer, it's pretty good 

pay." 

"Mr. Richards give me a commutation on 
the railroad. He's to send after the turkeys 
an' bring 'em back, so I won't have any ex- 
pense." 

Homer rose and sauntered about the 
kitchen, picking up the apples that had rolled 
in all directions over the floor. 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 349 

A week before Thanksgiving, the corner 
in front of Finch & Richard's great market 
looked as it was wont to look on circus day: 
only the eyes of the crowds were not turned 
expectantly up Main Street; they were riv- 
eted on a window in the big store. Passers-by 
tramped out into the snowy street when they 
reached the mob at the corner. The front of 
the store was decorated with a fringe of plump 
turkeys. One window had held a glowing 
mountain of fruit and vegetables arranged by 
someone with a keen eye to colour monstrous 
pumpkins, splendid purple cabbages, rosy 
apples and russet pears, green and purple 
grapes, snowy stalks of celery, and corn ears 
yellow as sunshine. Crimson beets neigh- 
boured with snowy parsnips, scarlet carrots, 
and silk-wrapped onions. Egg-plants, gleam- 
ing like deep-hued amethysts, circled about 
magnificent cauliflowers, while red and yellow 
bananas made gay mosaic walks through the 
fruit mountain. Wherever a crack or a 
cranny had been left was a mound of ruby 
cranberries, fine raisin bunches, or brown nuts. 

It was a remarkable display of American 



350 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

products; yet, after the first "Ah" of admira- 
tion, people passed on to the farther window, 
where six plump turkeys, supremely innocent 
of a feast-day fete, flapped their wings or gob- 
bled impertinently when a small boy laid his 
nose flat against the window. Three times a 
day the crowd grew twenty deep. It laughed 
and shouted and elbowed one another good- 
naturedly, for the Thanksgiving spirit was 
abroad. Men tossed children up on their stal- 
wart shoulders, then small hands clapped 
ecstatically, and small legs kicked with wild 
enthusiasm. 

The hero of the hour was a freckled, red- 
haired boy, who came leaping through a wire 
door with an old broom over his shoulders. 
Every turkey waited for him eagerly, hun- 
grily! They knew that each old, familiar 
trick learned away back in chickhood 
would earn a good feed. When the freckled 
boy began to whistle, or when his voice rang 
out in a shrill order, it was the signal for 
Dan'l Webster, for Gettysburg, for Amanda 
Ann, Mehitable, Nancy, or Farragut to step 
to the center of the stage and do some irresisti- 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 351 

bly funny turn with a turkey's bland solemnity. 
None of the birds had attacks of stage fright 
their acting was as self-possessed as if they 
were in the old farm yard with no audience 
present but Mrs. Tidd to lean smiling over 
the fence with a word of praise, and the cov- 
eted handful of golden corn. 

With every performance the crowd grew 
more dense, the applause more uproarious, and 
the Thanksgiving trade at Finch & Richard's 
bigger than it had been in years. Each night 
Homer took the last train home, tired but 
happy, for three crisp greenbacks w r ere added 
to the roll in his small, shabby wallet. 

Two days before Thanksgiving, Homer, in 
his blue overalls and faded sweater, was busy 
at work. The gray of the dawn was just creep- 
ing into the east, while the boy went hurrying 
through his chores. There was still a man's 
work to be done before he took the ten o'clock 
train to town ; besides, he had promised to help 
his mother about the house. His grandfather, 
an uncle, an aunt, and three small cousins were 
coming to eat their Thanksgiving feast at the 
old farmhouse. Homer whistled gaily, while 



352 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

he bedded the creatures with fresh straw. The 
whistle trailed into an indistinct trill; the boy 
felt a pang of loneliness as he glanced into 
the turkey-pen. There was nobody there but 
old Mother Salvia. Homer tossed her a hand- 
ful of corn. "Poor old lady, I s'pose you're 
lonesome, ain't you, now? Never mind ; when 
spring comes you'll be scratchin' around with 
a hull raft of nice little chickies at your heels. 
We'll teach them a fine trick or two, won't we, 
old Salvia?" 

Salvia clucked over the corn appreciatively. 

"Homer, Homer, come here quick." 

Down the frozen path through the yard 
came Mrs. Tidd, with the little brown shawl 
wrapped tightly about her head. She fluttered 
a yellow envelope in her hand. 

"Homer boy, it's a telegraph come. I can't 
read it; I've mislaid my glasses." 

Homer was by her side in a minute, tearing 
open the flimsy envelope. 

"It's from Finch & Richards, Mother," he 
cried excitedly. "They say, Take the first 
train to town without fail.' 

"What do you s'pose they want you for?" 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 353 

asked Mrs. Tidd, with a very anxious face. 

"P'r'aps the store's burned down," gasped 
Homer. He brushed one rough hand across 
his eyes. "Poor Dan'l Webster an' Gettys- 
burg! I didn't know anybody could set so 
much store by turkeys." 

"Maybe 't ain't nothin' bad, Homer," Mrs. 
Tidd laid her hand upon his shoulder. 
"Maybe they want you to give an extra early 
show or somethin'." She suggested it cheer- 
fully. 

"Maybe," echoed Homer. "But, Mother, 
I've got to hurry to catch that 7:30 train." 

"Let me go with you, Homer." 

"You don't need to," cried the boy. "It 
probably ain't nothin' serious." 

"I'm goin'," cried Mrs. Tidd decisively; 
"you don't s'pose I could stay here doin' 
nothin' but waitin' an' wond'rin'?" 

Mrs. Tidd and Homer caught a car at the 
city depot. Five minutes later they stood in 
front of Finch & Richards' big market. 

"Mother," whispered the boy, as he stepped 
off the car, "Mother, my turkeys! They're 



354 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

not there! Something's happened. See the 
crowd." 

They pushed their way through a mob that 
was peering in at the windows, and through 
the windows of locked doors. The row of 
plump turkeys was not hung this morning 
under the big sign; the magnificent window 
display of fruit and vegetables had been ruth- 
lessly demolished. 

"What do you s'pose can have happened?" 
Whispered Mrs. Tidd, while they waited for 
a clerk to come hurrying down the store and 
unlock the door. 

Homer shook his head. 

Mr. Richards himself came to greet them. 

"Well, young man," he cried, "IVe had 
enough of your pesky bird show. There's a 
hundred dollars' worth of provisions gone, to 
say nothing of the trade we are turning away. 
Two days before Thanksgiving, of all times in 
the year!" 

"Good land!" whispered Mrs. Tidd. Her 
eyes were wandering about the store. It was 
scattered from one end to the other with wasted 
food. Sticky rivers trickled here and there 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 355 

across the floor. A small army of clerks was 
hard at work sweeping and mopping. 

"Where's my turkeys?" asked Homer. 

"Your turkeys, confound them!" snarled 
Mr. Richards. "They're safe and sound in 
their crate in my back store, all but that blasted 
old gobbler you call Dan'l Webster. He's do- 
ing his stunts on a top shelf. We found him 
there tearing cereal packages into shreds. For 
mercy's sake, go and see if you can't get him 
down. He has almost pecked the eyes out of 
every clerk who has tried to lay a finger on 
him. I'd like to wring his ugly neck." 

Mr. Richard's face grew red as the comb of 
Dan'l Webster himself. 

Homer and his mother dashed across the 
store. High above their heads strutted Dan'l 
Webster with a slow, stately tread. Occa- 
sionally he peered down at the ruin and con- 
fusion below, commenting upon it with a 
lordly, satisfied gobble. 

"Dan'l Webster," called Homer, coaxingly, 
"good old Dan'l, come an' see me." 

The boy slipped cautiously along to where 
a step-ladder stood. 



356 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Dan'l," he called persuasively, "wouldn't 
you like to come home, Dan'l?" 

Dan'l perked down with pleased recogni- 
tion in his eyes. Homer crept up the ladder. 
He was preparing to lay a hand on one of 
Dan'l's black legs when the turkey hopped 
away with a triumphant gobble, and went rac- 
ing gleefully along the wide shelf. A row of 
bottles filled with salad-dressing stood in 
Dan'l's path. He cleared them out of the 
way with one energetic kick. They tumbled 
to a lower shelf; their yellow contents crept 
in a sluggish stream toward the mouth of a 
tea-box. 

"I'll have that bird shot!" thundered Mr. 
Richards. "That's all there is about it." 

"Wait a minute, sir," pleaded Mrs. Tidd. 
"Homer'll get him." 

Dan'l Webster would neither be coaxed nor 
commanded. He wandered up and down the 
shelf, gobbling vociferously into the faces of 
the excited mob. 

"Henry, go and get a pistol," cried Mr. 
Richards, turning to one of his clerks. 

"Homer," Mrs. Tidd clutched the boy's 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER'' 357 

arm, "why don't you make b'lieve you're 
shootin' Dan'l? Mavbe he'll lie down, so you 
can git him." 

Homer called for a broom. He tossed it, 
gun fashion, across his shoulder, and crept 
along slowly, sliding a ladder before him to 
the spot where the turkey stood watching with 
intent eyes. He put one foot upon the lowest 
step, then he burst out in a spirited whistle. 
It was "Marching through Georgia." The 
bird stared at him fixedly. 

"Bang!" cried Homer, and he pointed the 
broom straight at the recreant turkey. 

Dan'l Webster dropped stiff. A second 
later Homer had a firm grasp of the scaly 
legs. Dan'l returned instantly to life, but the 
rebellious head was tucked under his master's 
jacket. Dan'l Webster thought he was being 
strangled to death. 

"There!" cried Homer, triumphantly. He 
closed the lid of the poultry crate, and wiped 
the perspiration from his forehead. "There! 
I guess you won't get out again." 

He followed Mr. Richards to the front of 
the store to view the devastation. 



358 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Who'd have thought turkeys could have 
ripped up strong wire like that?" cried the 
enraged market man, pointing to the shattered 
door. 

"I guess Dan'l began the mischief," said 
Homer soberly; "he's awful strong." 

"I'm sorry I ever laid eyes on Dan'l!" ex- 
claimed Mr. Richards. "I'll hate to see 
Finch. He'll be in on the 4.20 train. He's 
conservative; he never had any use for the tur- 
key show." 

"When did you find out that they what had 
happened?" asked Homer timidly. 

"At five o'clock. Two of the men got here 
early. They telephoned me. I never saw 
such destruction in my life. Your turkeys had 
sampled most everything in the store, from 
split peas to molasses. What they didn't eat 
they knocked over or tore open. I guess they 
won't need feeding for a week. They're 
chuckful of oatmeal, beans, crackers, peanuts, 
pickles, toothpicks, prunes, soap, red herrings, 
cabbage about everything their crops can 
hold." 

"I'm awfully sorry," faltered Homer. 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 359 

"So am I," said Mr. Richards resolutely. 
"Now, the best thing you can do is to take 
your flock and clear out. IVe had enough of 
erforming turkeys." 

Homer and his mother waited at the depot 
for the ii o'clock train. Beside them stood a 
crate filled with turkeys that wore a well-fed, 
satisfied expression. Somebody tapped Homer 
on the shoulder. 

"You're the boy who does the stunts with 
turkeys, aren't you?" asked a well-dressed man 
with a silk hat, and a flower in his button- 
hole. 

"Yes," answered the boy, wonderingly. 

"IVe been hunting for you. That was a 
great rumpus you made at Finch & Richards 7 . 
The whole town's talking about it." 

"Yes, answered Homer again, and he 
blushed scarlet. 

"Taking your turkevs home?" 

Homer nodded. 

"I've come to see if we can keep them in 
town a few days longer." 

The boy shook his head vigorously. "I 
don't want any more turkey shows." 



360 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Not if the price is big enough to make it 
worth your while?" 

"No!" said Homer sturdily. 

"Let us go into the station and talk it over." 

On Thanksgiving afternoon the Colonial 
Theater, the best vaudeville house in the city, 
held a throng that was dined well, and was 
happy enough to appreciate any sort of fun. 
The children hundreds of them shrieked 
with delight over every act. The women 
laughed, the men applauded with great hearty 
hand-claps. A little buzz of excitement went 
round the house when, at the end of the fourth 
turn, two boys, instead of setting up the regu- 
lation big red number, displayed a brand new 
card. It read: "Extra Number Homer 
Tidd and his Performing Turkeys." A shout 
of delighted anticipation went up from the 
audience. Every paper in town had made a 
spectacular story of the ruin at Finch & Rich- 
ards'. Nothing could have been so splendid a 
surprise. Everybody broke into applause, 
everybody except one little woman who sat in 
the front row of the orchestra. Her face was 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 361 

pale, her hands clasped, and unclasped each 
other tremulously. "Homer, boy," she whis- 
pered to herself. 

The curtain rolled up. The stage was set 
for a realistic farmyard scene. The floor was 
scattered with straw, an old pump leaned over 
in one corner, hay tumbled untidily from a 
barn-loft, a coop with a hen and chickens 
stood by the fence. From her stall stared a 
white-faced cow; her eyes blinked at the glare 
of the footlights. The orchestra struck up a 
merry tune; the cow uttered an astonished 
moo; then in walked a sturdy lad with fine, 
broad shoulders, red hair, and freckles. His 
boots clumped, his blue overalls were faded, 
his sweater had once been red. At his heels 
stepped six splendid turkeys, straight in line, 
every one with its eyes on the master. Homer 
never knew how he did it. Two minutes 
earlier he had said to the manager, desper- 
ately: "I'll cut an' run right off as soon as I 
set eyes on folks." Perhaps he drew courage 
from the anxious gaze in his mother's eyes. 
Hers was the only face he saw in the great 
audience. Perhaps it was the magnificent 



362 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

aplomb of the turkeys that inspired him. 
They stepped serenely, as if walking out on a 
gorgeously lighted stage was an every-day 
event in their lives. Anyhow, Homer threw 
up his head, and led the turkey march round 
and round past the footlights, till the shout of 
applause dwindled into silence. The boy 
threw back his head and snapped his fingers. 
The turkeys retreated to form in line at the 
back of the stage. 

"Gettysburg," cried Homer, pointing to a 
stately, plump hen. Gettysburg stepped to the 
center of the stage. "How many kernels of 
corn have I thrown you, Getty?" he asked. 

The turkey turned to count them, with her 
head cocked reflectively on one side. Then 
she scratched her foot on the floor. 

"One, two, three, four, five!" 

"Right. Now you may eat them, Getty." 

Gettysburg wore her new-won laurels with 
an excellent grace. She jumped through a 
row of hoops, slid gracefully about the stage 
on a pair of miniature roller-skates; she 
stepped from stool to chair, from chair to 
table, in perfect time with Homer's whistle, 



DEBUT OF "DAN'L WEBSTER" 363 

and a low strain of melody from the orchestra. 
She danced a stately jig on the table, then, 
with a satisfied cluck, descended on the other 
side to the floor. Amanda Ann, Mehitable, 
Nancy, and Farragut achieved their triumphs 
in a slow dance made up of dignified hops and 
mazy turns. They stood in a decorous line 
awaiting the return of their master, for Homer 
had dashed suddenly from the stage. He re- 
appeared, holding his head up proudly. Now 
he wore the blue uniform and jaunty cap of 
a soldier boy; a gun leaned on his shoulder. 

The orchestra put all its vigor, patriotism, 
and wind into "Marching through Georgia." 

Straight to Homer's side when they heard 
his whistle, wheeled the turkey regiment, 
ready to keep step, to fall in line, to march and 
countermarch. Only one feathered soldier 
fell. It was Dan'l Webster. At a bang from 
Homer's rifle he dropped stiff and stark. 
From children here and there in the audience 
came a cry of horror. They turned to ask in 
frightened whispers if the turkey was "truly 
snooted." As if to ans\ver the question, Dan'l 
leaped to his feet. Homer pulled a Stars and 



364 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Stripes from his pocket, and waved it enthus- 
iastically; then the orchestra dashed into 
"Yankee Doodle." It awoke some patriotic 
spirit in the soul of Dan'l Webster. He left 
his master, and, puffing himself to his stateliest 
proportions, stalked to the footlights to utter 
one glorious, soul-stirring gobble. The cur- 
tain fell, but the applause went on and on and 
on! At last, out again across the stage came 
Homer, waving "Old Glory." Dan'l Web- 
ster, Gettysburg, Amanda Ann, Nancy, Me- 
hitable and Farragut followed in a triumphal 
march. Homer's eyes were bent past the foot- 
lights, searching for the face of one little 
woman. This time the face was one radiant 
flush, and her hands were adding their share 
to the deafening applause. 

"Homer, boy," she said fondly. This time 
she spoke aloud, but nobody heard it. An en- 
core for the "Extra Turn" was so vociferous, 
it almost shook the plaster from the ceiling. 



THE GREEN CORN DANCE 
FRANCES JENKINS OLCOTT 

THE first Thanksgiving Dinner in America, 
where was it eaten? Why, of course, we think 
of its being eaten in old Plymouth Town, 
when the Pilgrim Fathers spread their board 
with fish, wild turkey, geese, ducks, venison, 
barley bread, Indian maize, and other good 
things, and invited the Indian King Massa- 
soit and his braves to the feast. It was a time 
of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the fine har- 
vest God had given the Pilgrims. 

But that was not the first Thanksgiving Din- 
ner eaten in America! For many, many years 
before the Pilgrims came to this land, Thanks- 
giving Dinners had been given. The Red 
Men, the first owners of America, held their 
Thanksgiving Festivals every autumn. These 

365 



366 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

were in celebration of the ripening of the 
corn, and in honour of their Manitos, as they 
called their gods. For, until the white men 
came, the Indians never heard of the all-good 
''Great Spirit" of Heaven. They held other 
feasts, too, among them a New Year one, a 
Maple Sugar Feast, a Strawberry Festival, a 
Bean Dance, and a Corn-gathering Feast. 

Even to-day, some Indians keep their 
heathen Thanksgiving at the time of the ripen- 
ing of the corn. It is called the Green Corn 
Dance. Many Indians are Christians, but 
numbers still worship the Manitos of the sun, 
moon, stars, wind, rain, thunder, and other 
things in Nature. Though some of these 
heathen Red Men speak reverently of the 
Great Spirit, they seem scarcely to under- 
stand who He is, and confuse Him with their 
Manitos, as may be seen in the hymn that in- 
troduces the Feather Dance. 

Among some tribes of the Iroquois Family, 
in New York State, the Green Corn Dance is 
still celebrated. And this is how a visitor saw 
the dance at the Cattaraugus Reservation. 

As the time for the Festival approached, 



THE GREEN CORN DANCE 367 

certain men and women of the tribe, called the 
"Keepers of the Faith," began to prepare for 
the dance. Every morning at sunrise, the 
women went to the cornfield and picked a few 
ears, and took them to the Head Man at the 
Council House. When he decided that the 
corn was sufficiently ripe, the Feast was called. 

Summons were sent to the Indians at the 
Tonawanda and Allegany Reservations, bid- 
ding all meet at sunrise on the tenth of 
September, in the Council House of the Cat- 
taraugus Reservation. 

On the morning of the feast, the men, 
"Keepers of the Faith," arose at sunrise, and 
built a fire, on which they threw an offering 
of tobacco and corn, and they prayed to the 
Great Spirit to bless the tribes. They then ex- 
tinguished the fire, and later the women 
"Keepers of the Faith" built another in the 
same spot 

Then the people began to arrive, all in their 
best clothes. While they were waiting for the 
ceremonies to begin, the young men played 
ball, and the girls walked about, talking with 
each other. Meanwhile, the women "Keepers 



3 68 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

of the Faith," hastened to prepare soup and 
succotash, which were soon boiling in large 
kettles suspended over huge, flaming logs. 

After a little while the people began to 
move toward the Council House, a long, low, 
wooden building, with a door at the northeast 
end, and another at the southwest. The peo- 
ple entered in two lines, the women through 
one door, and the men through the other. All 
took their seats on benches arranged on three 
sides of the room. In the centre of the room 
sat the singers, and the musicians with their 
turtle-shell rattles. 

When all was quiet, the speaker began the 
ceremonies by a prayer to the Great Spirit, 
while the men, with bowed, uncovered heads, 
Indians do not kneel, listened reverently. 

After the prayer was finished, the speaker, 
lifting his voice, addressed the Indians. 

"My friends," he said, " we are here to wor- 
ship the Great Spirit As by our old custom, 
we give the Great Spirit His dance, the Great 
Feather Dance. We must have it before noon. 
The Great Spirit sees to everything in the 
morning, afterwards he rests. He gives us 



THE GREEN CORN DANCE 369 

land and things to live on, so we must thank 
Him for His ground, and for the things it 
brought forth. He gave us the thunder to 
wet the land, so we must thank the thunder. 
We must thank Ga-ne-o-di-o * that we know 
he is in the happy land. It is the wish of the 
Great Spirit that we express our thanks in 
dances as well as prayer. The cousin clans are 
here from Tonawanda; we are thankful to the 
Great Spirit to have them here, and to greet 
them with the rattles and singing. We have 
appointed one of them to lead the dances." 

When the speaker finished, there was a 
pause, then a shout outside the Council House 
told that the Feather Dancers were coming. 
They entered the room, a long, gracefully 
swaying line of fifty men, clad in Indian cos- 
tume, gay with colour and nodding plumes, 
and with bells adorning their leggings. 
Slowly and majestically they entered, and 
stood for a moment near the entrance. Then 
the speaker began in a high voice, the hymn 
of thanksgiving to the Great Spirit, while the 
dancers, in single file, commenced walking 



A prophet of the Indians. 



370 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

slowly around the room, keeping step with the 
beating of the musicians' rattles. 

Each verse of the hymn thanked the Great 
Spirit for some benefit, for water, for the 
animals, for the trees, for the light, for the 
fruits, for the stars, and among other good 
things, for the "Supporters," the three Mani- 
to-sisters, the guardians of the Corn, Bean, 
and Squash. 

After each verse, the dancers quickened 
their steps, and danced rapidly around the 
room. When the hymn was finished, the 
speaker ordered the real dance to start Then, 
still in single file, the dancers began the great 
Feather Dance. 

Erect in body, yet gracefully swaying, they 
moved around and around the Council House, 
keeping time with the rhythmic beat of the 
rattles, that sounded now slow and now fast. 
Lifting each foot alternately from the floor, 
every dancer brought his heel down with such 
force that all the legging-bells rang in time 
with the music. At times the movement grew 
very swift, and the many lithesome twistings 
and bendings of the dancers, their shouts to one 



THE GREEN CORN DANCE 371 

another, and the cries of the spectators, filled 
all with keen excitement. During the slower 
movements, some of the women arose, and 
joined the dance, forming an inner circle. 

Then the dancers sang a weird chant, in 
company with the singers, "Ha-ho! Ha-ho! 
Ha-ho!" they sang; then all present joined 
in the quick refrain, "Way-ha-ah! Way- 
ha-ah ! Way-ha-ah !" ending in a loud, guttural 
shout, as the dancers bowed their heads, "Ha-i! 
Ha-i!" 

When the noon hour came, the great 
Feather Dance was over, and two huge kettles 
were brought in to the Council House, one 
full of soup, and the other of succotash. One 
of the men "Keepers of the Faith," said a 
prayer of thanksgiving, in which all joined, 
and the food was poured into vessels brought 
by the women. It was then carried to the 
homes, where the Indians enjoyed eating it 
by their own firesides. 

The feast was over for that day, but it 
lasted two days more, during which the tribes 
gambled, danced, ate, and beat their drums. 
The visitor who saw this Green Corn Festival, 



372 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

wrote afterward about the closing scene, the 
great Snake Dance: 

"The nodding plumes, the tinkling bells, the 
noisy rattles, the beats of the high-strung 
drums, the shuffling feet and weird cries of 
the dancers, and the approving shouts of the 
spectators, all added to the spell of a strange- 
ness that seemed to invest the quaint old Coun- 
cil House with the supernaturalness of a 
dream! 

"As the sun neared its setting, the dancers 
stopped in a quiet order, and the speaker of 
the day bade farewell to the clans . . . and, 
after invoking the blessing of the Great Spirit, 
declared the Green Corn Festival of 1890 
ended." 



THANKSGIVING 

"Have you cut the wheat in the blowing fields, 
The barley, the oats, and the rye, 

The golden corn and the pearly rice? 
For the winter days are nigh." 

"We have reaped them all from shore to shore, 
And the grain is safe on the threshing floor." 

"Have you gathered the berries from the vine, 
And the fruit from the orchard trees? 

The dew and the scent from the roses and 

thyme, 
In the hive of the honeybees?" 

"The peach and the plum and the apple are 

ours, 
And the honeycomb from the scented flowers." 

"The wealth of the snowy cotton field 

And the gift of the sugar cane, 
The savoury herb and the nourishing root- 



There has nothing been given in vain." 

"We have gathered the harvest from shore to 

shore, 
And the measure is full and brimming o'er." 

373 



374 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

"Then lift up the head with a song! 

And lift up the hand with a gift! 
To the ancient Giver of all 

The spirit in gratitude lift! 
For the joy and the promise of spring, 

For the hay and the clover sweet, 
The barley, the rye, and the oats, 

The rice, and the corn, and the wheat, 
The cotton, and sugar, and fruit, 

The flowers and the fine honeycomb, 
The country so fair and so free, 

The blessings and glory of home.' 3 

AMELIA E. BARR. 



THE TWO ALMS 

OR 
THE THANKSGIVING DAY GIFT 

ONCE upon a time a poor old beggar woman 
stood shivering by the side of a road which led 
to a prosperous village. She hoped some trav- 
eler would be touched by her misery, and 
would give her a few pennies with which to 
buy food and fuel. 

It had been snowing since early morning, 
and a sharp east wind made the evening air 
bitterly cold. At the sound of approaching 
footsteps the old woman's face brightened 
with expectancy, but the next moment her 
eager expression changed to disappointment, 
for the traveler passed without giving her 
anything. 

"Poor old woman," he said to himself. 
"This is a bitter cold night to be begging on 
the roadside. It is, indeed. I am truly sorry 
for her." 



Translated by special permission from Guerber's Contes et 
Legendes, I^re Partie. Copyright by American Book Company. 

375 



376 THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

And as his footsteps became fainter, the 
beggar woman whispered, "I must not give 
up. Perhaps the next traveler will help me." 

In a little while she heard the sound of 
wheels. It happened to be the carnage of 
the mayor, who was on his way to a Thanks- 
giving banquet. When his excellency saw the 
miserable old woman, he ordered the carriage 
to stop, lowered the window, and took a piece 
of money from his pocket. 

"Here you are," he called, holding out a 
coin. 

The woman hurried to the window as fast 
as she could. Before she reached it, however, 
the mayor noticed that he had taken a gold 
piece instead of a silver one out of his pocket. 

"Wait a moment," he said. "I've made a 
mistake." 

He intended to exchange the coin for one 
of less value, but he caught his sleeve on the 
window fastening, and dropped the gold piece 
in the snow. The woman had come up to the 
carnage window, and he noticed that she was 
blind. 

"I've dropped the money, my good 



THE TWO ALMS 377 

woman," he said, "but it lies near you there in 
the snow. No doubt you'll find it." 

"Thank you, sir, thank you," said the beg- 
gar, kneeling down to search for the coin. 

On rolled the mayor to the banquet. "It 
was foolish to give her gold," he thought, 
"but I'm a rich man, and I seldom make such 
a mistake." 

That night after the banquet when the 
mayor sat before a blazing fire in his com- 
fortable chair, the picture of the beggar 
woman, kneeling in the snow, and fumbling 
around for the gold piece, came before his 
eyes. 

"I hope she will make good use of my gen- 
erous gift," he mused. "It was entirely too 
much to give, but no doubt I shall be rewarded 
for my charity." 

The first traveler hurried on his way until 
he came to the village inn, where a great wood 
fire crackled merrily in the cheery dining 
room. He took off his warm coat, and sat 
down to wait for dinner to be served. But he 
could not forget the picture of the old beg- 
gar woman standing on the snowy roadside. 



378^ THE TOPAZ STORY BOOK 

Suddenly he rose, put on his coat, and said 
to the host, "Prepare dinner for two. I shall 
be back presently." 

He hastened back to the place where he had 
seen the poor old woman, who was still on her 
knees in the snow searching for the mayor's 
gold piece. 

"My good woman, what are you looking 
for?" he asked. 

"A piece of money, sir. The gentleman 
who gave it to me dropped it in the snow." 

"Do not search any longer," said the trav- 
eler, "but come with me to the village inn. 
There you may warm yourself before the 
great fire, and we shall have a good dinner. 
Come, you shall be my Thanksgiving guest." 

He helped her to her feet, and then, for the 
first time, he saw that she was blind. Care- 
fully he took her arm, and led her along the 
road to the inn. 

"Sit here and warm yourself," he said, 
placing her gently in a comfortable chair. In 
a few moments he led her to the table, and 
gave her a good dinner. 

On that Thanksgiving Day an angel took 



THE TWO ALMS 379 

up her pen, and struck out all account of the 
gold piece from the book where the mayor re- 
corded his good deeds. Another angel wrote 
in the traveler's book of deeds an account of 
the old beggar woman's Thanksgiving dinner 
at the village inn. Adapted. 



A THANKSGIVING PSALM 

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye 

lands. 

Serve the Lord with gladness : 
Come unto his presence with singing. 

Know ye that the Lord he is God; 
It is he that hath made us, and not we our- 
selves ; 

We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. 
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving 
And into his courts with praise, 
Be thankful unto him, an d bless his name. 

For the Lord is good ; his mercy is everlasting : 
And his truth endureth to all generations. 

Psalm C. 



THE CROWN OF THE YEAR 

AH, happy morning of autumn sweet, 
Yet ripe and rich with summer's heat. 

*T *^ 1 * *%* *F *f r 

Near me each humble flower and weed 

The dock's rich umber, gone to seed, 
The hawk-bit's gold, the bayberry's spice, 
One late wild rose beyond all price; 
Each is a friend and all are dear, 
Pathetic signs of the waning year. 

The painted rose-leaves, how they glow! 
Like crimson wine the woodbines show; 
The wholesome yarrow's clusters fine, 
Like frosted silver dimly shine; 
And who thy quaintest charm shall tell, 
Thou little scarlet pimpernel? 

In the mellow, golden autumn days, 
When the world is zoned in their purple haze, 
A spirit of beauty walks abroad, 
That fills the heart with peace of God ; 
The spring and summer may bless and cheer, 
But autumn brings us the crown o' the year. 

CELIA THAXTER. 



381 

CENTRAL CIRCULATION 

CHILDRI